Where will win the title of Wales's Special Place?
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Latest update 31.05.2014 02:30
On Tuesday 27 May we officially launched our all-Wales campaign to find Wales’s most special place, at Hay Festival with backing from partnering heritage and travel groups including Visit Wales, Cynnal Cymru (Sustainable Wales) and Cadw.
It aims to kick-start a national conversation that gets people talking and voting for their own ‘special place’ in Wales.
The campaign was launched by John Griffiths, Welsh Government Minister for Culture and Sport, with the help of Justin Albert, National Trust Director for Wales and Baroness Andrews.
A distinctive memory tree was also unveiled at our stand at the Hay Festival. This tree will be touring the country throughout the summer, giving the public a chance to share the memories they have of their own special place.
Famous faces such as One Show presenter Alex Jones, opera singer and broadcaster Wynne Evans and National Poet for Wales Gillian Clarke are backing the campaign and have put forward their own special places to kick-start the conversation.
The campaign is backed by research showing that the places where we grew up are the most special to us above anywhere else – and that we prefer spending time outdoors and with family more than anything else. More than three-quarters of people (78 per cent) agreed that they feel happier when they are outdoors – and a similar 76 per cent chose the beach and countryside as their favourite places to escape.
As part of the campaign, we have enlisted a panel of official Special Places judges, a mixture of travel and heritage experts who will spearhead the campaign and call on the public to join in and get their own top places in the shortlist.
Judges on board include TV wildlife presenter Iolo Williams, travel journalist, broadcaster and TV presenter Simon Calder, Welsh broadcaster Roy Noble, Alan Edmunds Editor of the Western Mail, and Justin Albert, National Trust Director for Wales.
The public can nominate their special place on various online platforms until Sunday 29 June. A shortlist of ten special places will then be announced at the Royal Welsh Show in July and then, after a public vote, the overall winner will be revealed at the National Eisteddfod in Carmarthenshire in August.
The winning ‘Special Place’ will be given help and support to promote it in Wales and internationally by ourselves and other partners in the campaign and competition.
The panel is urging the public to submit their votes via Twitter, online, or by filling in a voting slip at our National Trust locations – ahead of them meeting to decide on a top ten shortlist of places to put out to public voting for a final time.
John Griffiths, Welsh Government Minister for Culture and Sport, said: ‘We’re lucky to have so many special and unique places here in Wales, and the aim of this campaign is to celebrate the places we treasure.
‘This is an excellent way for heritage bodies across Wales to work in partnership to promote the heritage of Wales as a whole, and I would encourage everyone to participate and start sharing their stories and memories about their own special places in Wales.’
Our Director for Wales, Justin Albert, also commented: ‘Our research shows everyone has their own special place, and we want to start a national conversation that gets everyone involved and shouting about their own – from school children to grandparents, to well-known names and politicians. We want a summer of celebrating our favourite places and sharing them with everyone to enjoy. We can’t wait to see which location comes out on top!’