Dyfi Biosphere website launch March 2017
Left to right: Owain Jones, Ann MacGarry (Biosphere Vice Chair), Andy Rowland and Iolo ap Gwynn (Chair), holding the Dyfi Biosphere banner with the new website address.

The UNESCO Dyfi Biosphere has a new face, whose job over the next two years is to inspire and support the development of relevant community actions. These will be based on the unique characteristics of the internationally-recognised status of the Biosffer Dyfi Biosphere area and community.

Newly appointed Development Officer Owain Jones was introduced to the area at the Biosphere’s recent Communications Workshop, which reviewed how the Biosphere communicates.

Ceredigion’s Local Action Group (LAG) Cynnal y Cardi, which is administered by Ceredigion County Council, is leading on the development project and is in collaboration with the neighbouring LAGs of Powys (Arwain) and Gwynedd (Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig).

The workshop launched a completely new Dyfi Biosphere website. The fully bilingual website is a resource about the local area for everyone; including locals, visitors and researchers. It has information about places to stay and visit, walking, wildlife and adventure sports; including videos and downloadable maps. It also has plenty of information about Biospheres and the UNESCO status, as well as current and past projects.

The new Dyfi Biosphere website is available in English and Welsh at www.dyfibiosphere.wales and www.biosfferdyfi.cymru.

The workshop was attended by 25 individuals who represented local businesses, public bodies and organisations, including the RSPB and the National Library of Wales.

Owain is an agricultural graduate of Aberystwyth University who was raised on the family farm on the Llŷn Peninsula. This post has been created in part to explore how local businesses can benefit from using the Biosphere brand. In an attempt to deliver economic and other benefits to the Biosphere area, the initial focus will be on tourism, including local food.

Owain will be working with local businesses and communities to build networks and boost income in a sustainable way. Through Ceredigion, Powys and Gwynedd Councils and local development trust ecodyfi, he will be supported by the Rural Development Programme Local Action Groups for Ceredigion, Powys and Gwynedd.

This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

Another aspect of the project is to engage with children and young people to explore the unique opportunities that the Dyfi Biosphere has to offer. Owain said “I’m interested and excited to hear from anyone who wants to get involved in this new phase of the Biosphere’s development”.

The event closed with Andy Rowland, manager of ecodyfi, thanking everyone that attended. He hailed the workshop a success and said he was “enthusiastic about the new communications plan and looking forward to the local community and visitor economy taking advantage of the new website resources”.

If you have any queries or ideas, contact Owain on owain.jones2@ceredigion.gov.uk or call 07970 284255.