The countryside came to Cardiff on 16th May for a special showcase event at the heart of Welsh Politics. Countryside Alliance Director for Wales, Rachel Evans, organised the event at the Welsh Assembly with the support of organisations such as the NGO, Salmon & Trout Association, FUW and with Countryside Alliance Award winners as well as pupils from Morriston Comprehensive School in Swansea, keen to tell politicians all about their experiences on our Fishing for Schools programme.
The day was a great success, with hounds, pigs, birds of prey, gundogs and the Quack Pack outside on the Quay whilst interactive displays were on offer inside the Assembly building. A visiting group of local schoolchildren were excited to try milking Seren the model cow (overseen by Welsh International Ladies Fly Fishing Team Caption Sandie Bevan, pictured, although she had to point out that milk doesn’t really come in a bottle) while the CA Award winning Llyn y Fan Hatchery and Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland, which the Countryside Alliance supports, talked about angling’s benefits. The redoubtable Win Morgan, postmistress at the CA Award winning Morgan’s Newsagents and Post Office in Carmarthenshire attracted great interest, with the Post Office network being a hot topic. Carmarthenshire farmers were also on hand to talk about outdoor education and the farm tours they run for local school children.
Event sponsor, Assembly Commissioner Rhodri Glyn Thomas (Plaid Cymru), gave a resounding welcome and voiced his support for rural life and business. CA Executive Chairman Sir Barney White-Spunner and Rachel Evans also spoke to the gathering, underlining the importance of open communication with politicians and urging everyone to support and defend country life where they could. Finally, Sir Barney was delighted to present Morriston pupil Alex Richards with a medal and declaring him Morriston’s Fishing for Schools Champion. Alex will travel to Westminster next month, with his medal, to attend a special Fishing for Schools reception – of which more news later.