The John Ratcliffe Award – applications invited

At the 2018 AGM it was announced that the John Ratcliffe annual award would be presented to an individual, group or organisation that has made, or is continuing to make, an outstanding contribution to the Park and to the furtherance of the Friends’ objectives.  Nominations can be made by anyone, and could nominate a Friend, a kindred body, or a member of the public. Click here for full details of criteria and the application form.

Wed 13th March 2019: Lighthouses of Pembrokeshire

Details:  Sarah Griffiths will give us a fascinating presentation on the famous and inspiring lighthouses of Pembrokeshire and the stories that surround them. if we are lucky, she may well also broaden the subject out to imbibe us with broader tales of maritime adventure!

Timings and Meeting Point: 19:00 upstairs in the Mariners Hotel, Haverfordwest. 

Refreshments: The bar will be open downstairs for tea/coffee etc.

Lead Organiser:  Ian Pattinson (01239 821631)

Wed 20th February 2019: Last Invasion of Britain Tour

Details:  Almost to the day of the 222nd anniversary of the landing of a French invasion force, at Carreg Wasted, we will walk and visit the principle sites. of this wonderful piece of Pembrokeshire history.  In large part, this is a repeat of a tour first held last year, which was so popular that we decided to do it again this year, but with some new anecdotes and details!

The day will start with a three mile circular walk from the village of Llanwnda, out to the French landing ground at Carreg Wasted and then back via Trehowell  farm where the French established their headquarters. The walk has been assessed as Easy with one gentle descent and one climb.

We will then proceed to Goodwick, to the point where the French surrendered, before moving on to Fishguard town to visit Jemima Nicholas’s gravestone and the Last Invasion tapestry.  There is also the option of having lunch in the Royal Oak, where the surrender was negotiated. And the final stop on the tour will the Fishguard fort where the first shot was fired in the campaign.

Timings and Meeting Point: Meet at 10:00 in the centre of Llanwnda village. Later we will drive to Goodwick and then Fishguard. We might be able to do some car-share for the move but bring change for the Fishguard car park.  Should finish about 15.00

Non-Members are very welcome but need to register in advance by emailing and will be asked to pay £5 per person on the day (please bring correct money)

Refreshments: Self-paying lunch for those who want it in the Royal Oak or you can do your own thing.  If you want lunch in the Royal Oak let Ian know by 17 Feb absolute latest.

Weather: There is no wet weather alternative so come prepared with waterproofs and sturdy shoes/walking boots: it will be muddy in places.

Lead Organiser:  Ian Pattinson (01239 821631)

An inspiring gift for Pembrokeshire’s schools

The Friends of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and the West Wales Children’s Book Group have worked together to provide a copy of The Lost Words, the book by Robert Macfarlane and local artist Jackie Morris, for each of the 57 primary schools in Pembrokeshire.

The Lost Words was published in 2017 to great acclaim, topping bestseller lists and winning multiple awards including becoming joint winner in the Children’s Book category at the National Book Awards. It reflects the authors’ concerns that common nature words such as bluebell, conker, and kingfisher are slipping out of children’s vocabulary as their lives become more urban and their relationship with the natural world diminished. The Lost Words is a large format book, celebrating twenty iconic animals and plants through poetry and fantastic illustrations which have captivated children and adults alike.

Across the UK, public campaigns have been successful in raising funds to buy the book for schools. In Wales these have been coordinated through a social media campaign, #AcornIsToWood, of which the Pembrokeshire initiative has been a part. Sam Hicks, founder of #AcornIsToWood and parent, said: “As someone who loves words and books I was delighted to discover The Lost Words. The story of how this wonderful book came about from a powerful wish to do something hopeful and put words back into the minds and vocabulary of children struck a chord with me. In January 2018, I started my campaign to try to help close the gap between nature and childhood by getting the book into every primary school in Wales. I hope it will provide an invitation for teachers, pupils, classes and the wider school community to spend more time thinking about and getting to know our wonderful wild world. Being amongst nature makes us pause, slows time and allows our minds to be quiet. It is the perfect antidote to our fast paced, instant gratification, always-on, daily life.”

To help teachers and parents to inspire children using the book, Eva John, Adviser for Basic Skills and Literacy at Pembrokeshire County Council and chairman of the West Wales Children’s Book Group, has produced additional materials, including The Lost Words Explorer’s Guide, copies of which have also been provided to Pembrokeshire’s schools.  Eva said, “we are delighted to contribute to #AcornIsToWood with the Friends.  We feel a particularly close affinity with this beautiful book as Jackie Morris, the illustrator, lives near St Davids and her close observations of the local landscape have informed her glorious illustrations for Robert Macfarlane’s enchanting and celebratory nature ‘spells’”.

Ian Chambers, Trustee of the Friends of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, said, “We are delighted to be making a positive contribution to local schools in this way.  We hope the book will inspire children to engage with the nature within our wonderful National Park.  We also hope that it will give a boost to our Annual Children’s Literary Competition which this year has nature in the Park as its theme”.

The West Wales Children’s Book Group is part of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, a charity which aims to bring children and books together (