THERE was a large gathering, including MP Chris Davies and AMs Kirsty Williams and Joyce Watson, and local councillors at the launch day events of the £3.3 million Elan Valley Links Project last Saturday.

The five year scheme is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and aims to secure the heritage and boost the opportunities available in the Elan Valley for the future.

In total some 26 projects will be delivered, subtitled “People, Nature, Water” which will include the protecting and enhancing the natural environment and improving access and opportunities for the public.

Chris Davies MP said afterwards: “It was a privilege to be at the launch of the Elan Links Project in the Elan Valley. This very exciting National Lottery and Welsh Water funded project supports the Elan Valley Trust with £3.3 million over the next five years delivering 26 different schemes.

“It is wonderful to see this going ahead and also magnificent that organisations such as Tir Coed and CARAD are also playing a part.

"The area covers one percent of Wales’s land mass and beautiful in all directions. This is a must visit location for people of all ages,” said Mr Davies.

Saturday saw the special launch event with activities throughout the day, along with a special reception to mark the start of the five-year scheme based at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre, with bus tours available providing a guided tour of the Elan Valley with details about the projects and why they are important in preserving the area.

The reception gave people the chance to meet with the team responsible for delivering the scheme and find out how you could get involved.

Throughout the day there were also hands-on experience activities from Tir Coed giving families the opportunity to make something out of wood they can keep and take home.

A Trading Secrets session also at the Visitor Centre throughout the day was part of the Elan Links scheme’s commitment to celebrating the heritage of the area. Members of the public were invited to visit the stand and share their stories, memories, pictures with the team.

For more information on the scheme, visit

Pictures by: ERNIE HUSSON.