Llandeilo Past and Present

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Dinefwr Park - Policies

Statement of Intent

The National Trust, Cadw and The Wildlife Trust South and West Wales acknowledge the remarkable significance of Dinefwr Park recognising that this landscape is of national importance. The aim of this conservation plan is to present policies that will address threats to this significance, both actual and potential, ensure preservation in perpetuity and provide access both physical and intellectual. These will be framed in terms of the wider landscape but also address the significance of individual components, cultural perceptions and chronological development. The application of the highest standards of conservation, integrated management and exemplary interpretation, based on the principles of lifelong learning and community participation, will ensure that Dinefwr continues as one of the most important parkland landscapes in Britain. The policies described below will be implemented through The Dinefwr Project, which aims to restore and improve access to the designed landscape. The numbers in brackets refer to the issues and threats identified in Chapter 5.

General Policies

These policies are derived from the information presented in preceding chapters and are set within the context of current National Trust, Cadw and Wildlife Trust policies. They will be adopted as the basis for future management of the property.

  • To review the conservation plan every five years or sooner if major changes necessitate
  • To adopt National Trust standards of management and conservation as described in manuals and guidelines produced by the conservation directorate, as appropriate.
  • The policies outlined below are framed within the following conservation principles:
  • To retain the historic fabric in situ where possible.
  • To restrict intervention into the historic fabric unless strictly necessary or unless it can be demonstrated that this will significantly enhance our understanding of the site
  • To ensure that unavoidable intervention is reversible.
  • To ensure that conservation is pro-active rather than reactive and founded on the little-and-often principle.
  • To ensure that all conservation work, whether on the landscape or on the buildings, is environmentally sound and sustainable.
  • To undertake regular monitoring and recording.
  • To continue to address research issues. If compatible with management aims and the guidelines of the individual partnership organisations, appropriate methodology, including physical intervention, will be employed to answer outstanding questions.
  • To survey in advance all repairs, restoration and ecological enhancement, to record during progress and to monitor after completion.
  • The National Trust, Cadw and the Wildlife Trust will continue to provide access to as much of Dinefwr Park as is compatible with conservation requirements and Health and Safety restrictions.

Strategy

The full range of skills and expertise available within the partner organisations will be employed. This advice will be implemented by means of regular and fully integrated consultation. When necessary external specialists will be used. The contractors who carried out the conservation plan surveys will contribute to the restoration programme assisting the National Trust with carrying forward recommendations.

In future the park will be the focus of the property as this landscape with its ecological value, long history and cultural associations has the greatest significance. This change does not diminish the historic importance of Home Farm and Newton House.

Modifications to the existing management regime will be set within the context of restoration of the landscape park and bringing Dynevor Home Farm land up to the same ecological standards as the rest of the parkland. Facilities will not be expanded at the expense of the significance of the park, the ecology or the buildings.

To restore the layout of the 18th century park

In the 18th century George Rice and Cecil Talbot succeeded in uniting the newly designed with the ancient to create a single united composition that later became one of the most significant parks in the British Isles. Although much of this remains it is fragile, vulnerable and incomplete. A programme of preservation and restoration is required to replace missing components, remove modern anachronisms and ensure that the landscape is maintained in perpetuity. Although a 19 th century overlay is visible in a few areas it is the 18 th century layout alone that contributes to significance. Archival and field evidence indicate that the Ordnance Survey second edition 25 inch map should be used as general guidance

Some elements of a more formal earlier landscape were incorporated into the 18 th century design and every effort will be made to reproduce this effect mainly by selective planting. The veteran and mature tree community is fundamental to the success and significance of Dinefwr.

  • To restore 18th century landscaping as set out by George Rice, Cecil Talbot and Lancelot ‘Capability' Brown
  • To reopen the ‘Brown path' and other historic footpaths as mapped in the Designed Landscape Survey
  • To restore 18 th century view points
  • To protect the existing trees and ensure that successive populations will mature to take their place
  • To prevent further erosion
  • To restore deer park and other park walls
  • To retain estate style
  • To retain open bodies of water

Strategy

  • The landscape will be managed as either woodland, permanent unimproved pasture or improved pasture. Stocking rates compatible with an extensive system of agriculture will be introduced. This will improve the texture and appearance of the park, help to conserve isolated trees and enhance habitats and ecology. Bracken growth will be controlled.
  • Restoration will be achieved only through a full understanding of the present resource - information that can then be used to manage and preserve.
The Deer Park from the castleThe Deer Park from the castle
  • A phased programme of tree planting will replicate the layout of the 18 th century woodland as marked on the Ordnance Survey second edition 25 inch map and as advised by Hal Moggridge on the basis of field and archive evidence (Map 9). Long-term phasing will aim to ensure a healthy age/class structure. Some modification may be required to take account of the specific needs of veteran trees. Clumps will be sited to avoid buried archaeology and, especially in the eastern part of the park, some screening of modern development may be desirable. Buffer zones will be established to protect isolated trees. Exclosures to encourage regeneration will be established within existing woodland but these will be phased to restore age structure. Ornamental planting will be used to establish pleasure grounds on Cae Lan, within The Rookery and to screen the courtyards. As the introduction of evergreen exotics by the Dynevors was carried out with restraint these do not detract from the earlier landscape and will be left in situ. If they fall they will not be replaced. Planting will reduce the impact of the red brick walls of Mynachdy but South Lodge is visible only from a short distance. Modern deciduous trees within 18 th century schemes will be gradually removed, as will the shelter belts planted in the Outer Cow Park. Under-storey planting will be left in situ and monitored. If any species become invasive the situation will be reassessed.
  • Fencing will be reduced to a minimum. Modern boundaries, including animal handling pens, installed by the National Trust will be gradually removed. Some of these will be replaced by cleft oak fencing, particularly those surrounding clumps and woodland, and those within strategic 18 th century views. Park railings around the Victorian house will be left in situ and those around the church replaced (Map 11). Modern deer fences will remain as they are all but invisible against dense vegetation, though the fence to the north of the house will be replaced with a replica of that shown in 18 th century depictions. New plantations outside the deer park will require deer- and rabbit-proof fences in addition to cleft oak.
  • The ‘Brown Path' is considered to be one of the most significant elements of the designed landscape and will be opened to the public (Map 10). Scrub will be removed, bracken cleared and dead wood dragged off the path subject to Countryside Council for Wales consent. Every effort will be made to re-establish the line of the Brown path east of the Castle where the original has fallen away. Dead wood will not be chopped or cut but, where possible, left in situ. A walk along this path demonstrates all that is great about the Dinefwr designed landscape and also illustrates the achievements of this extraordinary period in the history of park design. It makes clear the contribution made by the old trees to the landscape. Risk assessments will ensure that the three partner organisation meet their responsibilities towards protecting visitors to this part of the park.
  • Within National Trust ownership other paths will be made available subject to risk assessment, veteran tree conservation restrictions and deer welfare (Map 10). In South Lodge Wood and Church Wood the footpath network will be rationalised to follow historic routes, for example the path down ‘Lovers Walk', though some realignment will be necessary to take account of Pen Lan Park. With the exception of the path between Home Farm and Newton House and along the sunken track these will be grass paths. These will be regularly monitored and, if necessary, steps taken to mitigate erosion. Where a stronger surface is required this will be compatible with an 18 th century design and have soft edges. Prior to any refurbishment the sunken track will be excavated to establish the original dimensions, profile and surface. The drive from the house through to Kings Lodge will be cleared and the original link to the ice-house re-instated. The track linking Home Farm with Pen-parc will have an 18 th century profile but be of sufficient strength to withstand farm vehicles. The impact of the Castle Woods access track and the track from the house to the Slaughter House will be reduced by application of gravel and grass. If way marks are necessary these should be discrete and have an estate style.
  • The restoration of 18 th century views will require some tree clearance or pruning. An action plan for each viewing point will be agreed with the Countryside Council for Wales and with National Trust conservation directorate advisers to include nature conservation, curatorial and archaeology. Where appropriate other external advisers will also be consulted. The three partner organisations will work together to ensure that views of the castle and Llandyfeisant church are kept open.
  • All the park walls will be surveyed and restored but the present boundaries of the Deer Park will not be extended (Map 11). Priority will be given to the eastern park wall where the recently created vehicular entrance and splay will be replaced along the original line. A second priority is the 17 th century deer park wall to include the section abutting Bog Wood which will require rebuilding.
GateModern gate in estate style
  • The National Trust will retain estate style. Gates will be repaired, or where necessary replaced with the Dynevor pattern to include blacksmith fittings. The gates from the eastern drive will be repaired and re-hung. Modern metal gates giving access to the Deer Park will be replaced with wooden doors to an 18 th century or estate design. The Brown Doors will be repaired.
  • Water was an essential element of 18 th century landscape design. At Dinefwr this was provided by natural ponds in the meadows and by Mill Pond. The National Trust will ensure that these features are retained as open bodies of water though it acknowledges that many of the natural ponds are seasonal. Mill Pond is threatened by rapid rates of siltation. In order to ensure the long-term survival of this feature and to reach an environmentally and economically sound solution further survey and analysis will describe and quantify the constituents of this silt and the rates of deposition. The potential for silt traps will be explored. An action plan will be drawn up that takes account of the silt, ecology and the designed landscape. This will include the anachronistic board-walk which will not be removed in the short term as it is popular with visitors.
  • The redundant filter beds and pipes in the Lower Park will be removed.
  • Vehicular access to the Deer Park will be restricted. Pedestrian access may be prohibited at certain times of the year or in certain conditions to prevent or reduce the impact of erosion.

To protect and maintain Dinefwr Castle

The castle and earthworks within state guardianship will continue to be maintained and managed to a high conservation standard by Cadw.

To protect and preserve park buildings and structures

The few park buildings and structures cover a range of dates and vary in significance (Map 14). The National Trust has responsibility for many of these, though Llandyfeisant Church is maintained by The Wildlife Trust. All three organisations will work in partnership to ensure the long-term survival of these features. In the case of buildings and structures outside our care, the National Trust will strive to support the owners by acting as a facilitator or by providing expert advice.

  • To consolidate the Cold Bath House, the one surviving 18 th ornamental building
  • To establish and fund a repair and consolidation project for Llandyfeisant Church
  • To maintain recently repaired buildings in good condition
  • To repair, restore or consolidate all other buildings and structures
  • To survey all structures not previously surveyed

Strategy

Unlike many other significant 18 th century parks Dinefwr has no surviving, contemporary, ornamental buildings with the possible exception of the alleged Cold Bath House. This will be cleared, excavated and recorded prior to consolidation and interpretation.

The Wildlife Trust South and West Wales, supported by the National Trust, will seek funding for the restoration and repair of Llandyfeisant Church. This project will incorporate archaeological and building surveys to include the graveyard and ancillary buildings. The adjacent house will be made safe and measures will be taken to prevent illegal occupation.

The ice house has been partially restored by the National Trust. Repairs with appropriate material will complete this project.

The three pump houses have been situated so as not to impact on the earlier, 18 th century design though the red brick tank linked to one may have destroyed part of the Cold Bath House. All are in relatively good condition and one, the most elaborate, has been recently repaired with provision for visitor access in the future. Working within the ‘little and often principle', all three structures will be maintained and, where possible, original fittings retained. The Trust will complete the Mill Pond pump house project making the pumping wheel accessible and restoring the machinery that replaced it. The rams within the other two houses will also be repaired.

The recently repaired slaughter house will be maintained and continue in the short term to be used for interpretation. This policy will be reviewed at regular intervals.

The enigmatic features noted along the river bank during the archaeological survey will be surveyed and analysed prior to long term consolidation.

The two dams, both thought to be 18 th century or earlier in origin, have endured different management regimes. That below Mill Pond has been recently repaired and is in good condition. It will be monitored and maintained. North Heronry Dam is in imminent danger of collapse and requires urgent attention. As a priority the structure will be consolidated to prevent further decay. In the longer term the structure will be restored so that it once again holds water and supports the track leading to the gate in the north west corner of the park. The two ornamental bridges down stream from this structure will be cleared of vegetation and consolidated.

National Trust building staff will assess the condition of the tanks and reservoirs in The Rookery and instigate an action plan to ensure that they meet emergency requirements.

To maintain the historic integrity of Newton House and its setting

Newton is a 17th century house with 18 th century additions, later enclosed in a Victorian façade and surrounded by formal gardens. The Trust's ability to present and interpret Newton is restricted by having only partial ownership of the house. Both courtyards are in different, separate ownership. Likewise Dairy Cottage and the walled garden do not belong to the National Trust.

  • To address outstanding conservation concerns and initiate a cyclical program of regular maintenance within Newton House
  • The National Trust will continue to undertake quinquennial reviews of the house and garden buildings (5.5.1)
  • To ensure appropriate environmental controls are in place
  • To support owners of courtyards by providing expert advice and support
  • To restore the gardens and surroundings to that shown in 19 th century family photographs
  • To screen staff car park and courtyards with ornamental planting
  • 6.6.7 To keep signage to a minimum

Strategy

  • The woodwork-joinery and plaster ceilings will be surveyed and conservation requirements assessed. Apart from these specific investigations, the historic fabric will be preserved through a programme of regular maintenance. Environmental controls will be installed to avoid further deterioration. Public access will be provided to the billiard room, reception rooms and basement. Future uses of the upper floors will presume against sub-division of existing spaces and will take account of the historic integrity of the entire structure. The Billiard Room will be surveyed and restored to as near to its original appearance as can be ascertained.
  • If requested, the National Trust will support the owners of the courtyards, Dairy Cottage and the walled garden by acting as a facilitator to access the advice required to maintain historic significance. This will enable both the owners and the Trust to understand the structures and to co-operate in the planning of any restoration or refurbishment programmes.
  • The Fountain Garden to the rear of the house has been partially restored. The garden will be reinstated to that shown in late 19 th century family photographs but not until such time that the Trust can guarantee the resources to maintain such a layout in the long term. In the meantime the present network of gravel paths, box hedges and grassed-over beds with limited planting will be retained. The wooden edges to the beds will be removed, as will those surrounding the lawns to the front of the house. Planting to the front of the house will replicate that shown in early photographs.
  • A replica to that shown in 19th and early 20 th century photographs will replace the modern entrance gate. A fence and gate to northern side of the house, also shown in these photographs, will be installed.
  • Ornamental planting to the south of the house will serve to screen the courtyards from the park as shown on 18 th century and some 19 th century images. This will recreate the impression that the house stands alone in the park as intended by George Rice. This will also conceal parked cars.
  • The setting of the house is diminished by the present facilities provided for visitors. In addition parked cars are compacting the soil beneath veteran trees and threatening their longevity. The car park will be moved and signage reduced to a minimum. The reception building will be left in situ for the present as it is inconspicuous and does not detract from the appearance of the park. It is anticipated that some car parking at Newton House will always be necessary for staff, tenants and disabled visitors but this will be located in the present staff car park and concealed behind planting.

To maintain the historic integrity of Home Farm and Pen parc

Rebuilding, repairing and consolidating the historic buildings at Home Farm will restore and preserve this complex of buildings (Map 12). This will be undertaken to a standard that will enable the buildings to once more have a function relevant to the success of the estate. New buildings will not be constructed without specific management justification.

  • To repair and restore the historic farm buildings
  • To undertake conversion only if this can be achieved without reducing historic significance
  • New buildings will be sufficient for their purpose without being features in their own right
  • To remove modern agricultural buildings unless they do not conflict with the historic layout and have a useful function
  • To retain, but simplify, the layout of the garden

Strategy

  • Individual buildings will be repaired, rebuilt or consolidated to National Trust standards. Historic joinery, fittings and decorative schemes will be maintained where possible and the presumption will be towards repair rather than replacement. If replacement cannot be avoided, ‘like for like' is expected or, in the absence of evidence of the original, an appropriate 18 th century replica. The first floor of the cart shed will be restored. Health and Safety requirements, hygiene regulations and provision for disabled access may necessitate some modifications. Modern agricultural buildings will be removed except where a purpose can be identified that does not conflict with the historic environment. Surfaces appropriate to an 18 th century farmyard will replace these buildings.
  • The National Trust intends to convert Pen Parc into a holiday let.
  • The complexity of the current planting scheme within the modern garden will be reduced to facilitate sustainable maintenance and the revised layout will acknowledge the historic setting.

To understand the significance of the archaeology and to thereby instigate an appropriate management regime

Although earlier investigations had hinted that a Roman site of some importance might be located within the park the extent and complexity of the landscape discovered in the Outer Cow Park was unexpected. The site is not threatened as it is preserved beneath permanent pasture, though the possibility of unauthorised excavation as a result of metal detecting should not be ruled out. The National Trust will continue to preserve the site under pasture and will postpone any tree planting in this area until the significance of the site is fully understood. Through both the National Trust and Cambria Archaeology, who are based in Llandeilo, the local community is being encouraged to take pride in this discovery and help police the site. The park also contains two medieval towns and an Iron Age fort. The towns are known only from documentary sources and have never been located. The fort was identified as part of the recent topographic survey.

  • To understand the significance of the Roman archaeology
  • To draft an appropriate management regime for the Roman archaeology
  • To protect the buried medieval archaeology
  • To protect all other archaeological features on the property

Strategy

  • To guide future management of the Roman archaeology, a two-phase programme of investigation will be instigated. In the short term the geophysical survey will be extended so that the full extent of the earlier fort can be mapped. Trial trenches will be excavated to define the character of the buried archaeology, to identify the function of the isolated building to the north of the forts and to confirm that the empty areas on the original survey do not contain archaeology. This will facilitate the compilation of a short-term agricultural strategy for these fields.
  • On the basis of the results of this survey and excavation, a project team, comprising both internal staff and external advisers, will be established to assess what further work will be necessary to evaluate the full significance of the site and how this should be managed. This will take the form of a separate project, not funded as part of The Dinefwr Project Phase Two.
  • Future investigation will take place within the context of the research agendas for both Wales and Roman Britain. It will incorporate National Trust policies on community involvement and life-long learning. Local archaeological contractors with a proven record of community involvement will be given preference.
  • Documentary evidence indicates that within the park are two medieval towns and the tracks, paths and field boundaries that once must have surrounded them. Although there are some suggestive ridges near Dinefwr Castle and the archaeological survey identified possible boundaries within the Inner Cow Park, the positions of the towns are unknown. Every opportunity will be sought to locate these settlements and funding for geophysical survey and trial excavation will be identified. The three partners will work together to support and seek funds for further topographical, geophysical and archaeological survey within the park but particularly with the vicinity of the castle and the church, and also around Newton House.
  • The Iron Age fort, both ramparts and interior, will be protected from inappropriate tree planting and erosion.

To conserve and ENHANCE NATURE conservation significance

The tree population of the park is of utmost significance. As well as contributing to aesthetic and design values the important invertebrate and lichen communities are entirely dependent on these trees in their parkland setting. There is little evidence of past management, for example pollarding and coppicing, beyond planting and maintenance of views and vistas, some of the oldest trees appear to be maidens.

Wildwood may not have been a closed canopy forest but a mosaic, albeit on a grand scale -possibly thousands of hectares. Oak and hazel may be key to this dynamic as neither can progress beyond germination under closed canopy shade. A cycle of perhaps thousands of years might have developed, with cohorts of trees replaced with pasture grazed by native cattle, which was subsequently colonised by thorns followed by oak and hazel. Parks are though to be the closest proxy to this wildwood. New plantings at Dinefwr will aim to mimic that cycle within the context of a designed landscape enclosed by a park wall. Within the deer park and other selected areas these will be phased to take place throughout the project and will continue as an essential element of any future management regime. The time-scale of this wildwood cycle is measured in terms of centuries and hence a long-term, if not in perpetuity, approach is necessary. The age of the veteran trees at Dinefwr suggests that a 1000-year scheme should be planned for. Exclosures are intended as short-term rescue that will encourage regeneration within the pre-existing planting pattern and thereby ensure the continuation of the 18 th century lay out. They also appear to produce squirrel-resistant trees. Succession planting will aim to address the age/class crisis within the veteran tree community. As with buildings, a ‘little and often' approach will be adopted. Recognising that grazing with appropriate animals is essential to the continuation of the dynamic, deer and cattle will continue to have access to the trees within the deer park. In the Inner and Outer Cow Park more extensive planting will take place in order to reinstate the 18 th design, exact phasing and species to be advised by internal and external specialists. Eventually these plantations will also be managed as grazed wood pasture. A programme of replacement planting will be instigated on the Tywi floodplains.

Strategy to protect existing trees

  • Current management practises to protect the veteran trees are based on minimal intervention and this will continue.
  • Prohibit applications of inorganic fertilisers, stock feeding and ploughing within a radius of 30m of individual trees.
  • Stock levels within the park will be restricted to prevent physical damage.
  • A comprehensive resurvey will be undertaken every 40 years using the 2003 survey as a base line to establish progress against objectives. Annual inspections will be undertaken and also after an extreme event to record damage and losses.
  • Guard against public access that will require tree surgery and other physical intervention. Avoid vehicle movements under tree canopy.
  • The Wildlife Trust will remove beech from Mynachdy (part of Castle Wood) so as to favour oak. Care will be taken to avoid damage to habitats or archaeology

To initiate planting schemes that will restore age/class dynamic and support dependent communities

With existing veteran trees numbers at about 300, annual losses of two or three and a recruitment gap of about 200 years, there is an urgent priority to dramatically increase numbers in order to maintain the key nature conservation interests.

Strategy

  • Perpetuate and reinforce tree population in the Rookery, the Heronry and Bank of Battle through the construction of up to 3 exclosures every five years for the next 15 years. This will encourage natural regeneration thus ensuring trees of the same genetic stock as the existing population.
  • Maintain exclosures for 30-35 years to provide for maximum chances of survival.
  • Replace lost individual trees, including those identified from historical sources only, by transplanting regenerated trees of local provenance.
  • Establish a small nursery to propagate acorns collected in the park.
  • Replant wooded areas as marked on the second edition Ordnance Survey twenty-five inch map of the park with a mixture of native species and 18 th century parkland trees.
  • Re-plant lost and replace degraded clumps with historically appropriate species and native trees.
  • Increase numbers of individual open-grown oaks and other species in hedgerows.
  • Actively manage mammal population to minimise damage to trees and ensure best chance of survival, to include deer, cattle and squirrel. Several strategies to reduce squirrel damage have been tried but without success. Current thinking suggests that the rate and amount of tree planting should be increased so that at least some will survive.

To restore and enhance hedgerow habitats

Strategy

  • Existing hedges will be double-fenced two metres out from the base on either side.
  • A programme of re-planting where hedges have been lost will be established. This will include gaps in existing boundaries.
  • Encourage open-grown trees of a single species.
  • Overgrown and degraded hedges will be coppiced.
  • Lay hedges within a twenty-year rotation.

To maintain a database of significant trees

Strategy

  • The 2003 veteran tree survey forms the baseline from which all future work will be planned and measured.
  • The database will be managed at Dinefwr and reviewed annually with a re-survey every forty years.

To leave intact windblown trees and branches

Strategy

Dead woodDead wood in Castle Woods
  • Windblown trees will be left intact and moved only for Health and Safety reasons or if conflicts with access are identified. If such a conflict arises the reasons for curtailing access will be explained to visitors. Trees falling into open spaces in the deer park (such as the valley west of the Newton House) will be dragged into wooded areas. Fallen wood will not be cut or chopped and the ‘firewood'-like piles of cut timber around the bases of some trees will be moved. Should the number of veteran trees reduce by more than 5% then some mature/fully mature tree veteranisation practises should be considered to ensure enough deadwood habitat for associated assemblages.

To instigate a nature conservation action plan to address ecological relaxation within the park

Strategy

  • Reduce inorganic and fertiliser applications through out the park and prohibit all fertiliser application within the deer park and Inner Cow Park
  • Work with neighbours and CCW to reduce inorganic fertiliser applications on surrounding land.
  • Prohibit ploughing within 20 metres of existing trees and hedges
  • Control and monitor stock numbers and other farming practices including supplementary feeding and poaching of ground beneath trees to minimise negative environmental impacts.
  • Plant and encourage more trees within and outside of the main park area.
  • Monitor water quality and undertake a remedial action plan if biodiversity does not improve.

To monitor habitats and ecology on regular basis

Strategy

  • A programme of regular surveys and updating of existing surveys will be instigated to enable the National Trust to accurately monitor the condition of the habitats and ecology of the park. Research by both National Trust and Wildlife Trust South & West Wales staff, outside conservation bodies and academic institutions will be actively encouraged and supported. Priority will be given to the enhancing our understanding of the meadows abutting the Afon Twyi, in particular the impact of the current hydrological regime.
  • Dinefwr Park is currently subject to a proposal to upgrade its status to national nature reserve. This will be supported and the staff will continue to work in close liaison with the Countryside Council of Wales.

To continue to control geological sampling

Strategy

  • Current management controls that prohibit sampling or removal of fossils without the permission of property staff be upheld.

To increase grassland species

Strategy

  • Reduce land area used for silage and where possible grow hay.
  • Change land use on tenanted land by negotiation with tenants or as tenancies change
  • Favour cattle grazing rather than sheep and reduce stocking rates overall.
  • Enter agri-environment schemes where possible.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of these changes.

To improve diversity within existing woodland

Strategy

  • Remove conifers where they are not part of the designed landscape or family arboretum and encourage native species. Sycamore will be retained as it is regenerating well and mature examples are exhibiting valued veteran tree characteristics. Epiphytic communities will find the base rich bark an adequate substitute for the depleted elm population.

To conserve, manage and enhance natural diversity on built structures

Strategy

  • Survey all built structures to identify associated and dependant species especially those planned for restoration including Deer Park walls, buildings, banks, dams etc.

To conserve the Dinefwr herd of White Park cattle

Strategy

  • To maintain a viable population minimum numbers will consist of 16 breeding cows and one bull.
  • Property staff will maintain active records and remain in regular contact with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust
  • The herd will be used as a conservation management tool within the deer park and Inner Cow Park. As an icon of Dinefwr Park the herd will also feature in marketing and promotional literature.

To conserve the Fallow Deer herd

Strategy

  • The herd will be managed as an integral part of the historic landscape.
  • The health of the herd will be upheld by controlling numbers. An annual programme of culling - removing stock across the age classes - will be undertaken. Environmental health standards regarding slaughtered animal will adhered to.
  • Boundaries will be maintained to minimise infiltration from the local wild population.

To instate an environmentally sustainable agricultural regime that does not threaten the archaeology, ecology or designed landscape

Strategy

  • An extensive system of agriculture will be introduced with low stocking rates and reduced or no inorganic applications.
  • Where possible Tir Gofal agreements will be entered into.
  • The estate yard and animal handing facilities will be moved from the quarry to Pen Parc and Home Farm. The Deer Park will not be extended but the health of the herd will be monitored following the erection of additional exclosures and if they exhibit signs of stress an action plan will be drawn up.
  • The National Trust will cease dairying operation at Home Farm and infill the two slurry lagoons. This will ensure that dirty water, slurry and silage effluent will no longer discharge in to the Nant yr Hibo and threaten this important spawning tributary of the Tywi. There are no plans in the short term to carry out any form of livestock operations within the Home Farm complex. If in the future it is planned to keep animals there will be sufficient investment in fixed equipment to meet all necessary controls to prevent any pollution of this stream. Surface water run off will be controlled by a scheme to prevent direct discharge once surplus buildings are removed. Foul water will be treated through a package treatment before discharge into the stream or soakaway, following consultation with the Environment Agency Wales.

To allocate and implement a sustainable use for all buildings

Strategy

  • A sustainable use for each structure will be identified and works undertaken to ensure that they can fulfil this function.
  • The Home Farm farmhouse will be let to a tenant interested in working with National Trust to run a diversified farming business with the option of the cowshed and/or the other remaining modern farm buildings and land. The threshing barn will be used by the National Trust (or possibly the tenant) as a flexible covered area for school and other parties, and occasional sales. The granary and attached buildings will be converted to the Carmarthenshire estate, volunteer and community base, workshop and stores, and the Dutch barns will serve as an associated vehicle and fodder store. The old stables will be let to a local heavy horse contractor.
  • The open fronted stock sheds (hammel) will be developed in connection with the investigation of the Roman fort to serve as a finds and archaeological resource centre.
  • Part of the surviving modern steel-framed buildings will be used by the tenant and part as a National Trust curators store

To ensure that collections and archives are managed commensurate with National Trust and Cymal Standards and that every opportunity to display material is fulfilled

The most significant collection is the Dynevor paintings. These were acquired through the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund and will always be on public display. There are few indigenous pieces of furniture and these will also be maintained for display. Of lesser significance, but nevertheless important to the history of the house, are items retrieved during restoration of Newton House and Fountain Garden. Additional finds were recovered from beneath the floorboards.

  • To restore, curate and display the Dynevor Collection according to National Trust standards
  • To curate archaeological and architectural artefacts according to National Trust standards
  • To display archaeological or architectural objects as appropriate

Strategy

  • The Dynevor Collection will be displayed within the house but some pictures will be moved from the library to other parts of the ground floor. This will free up the lower rooms in the main part of the house for exhibitions and events without threatening the collection.
  • Archaeological finds will be stored on site and, where appropriate, displayed in areas where environmental controls can be maintained A small rotating display of the most significant items will be created. This will include replicas of fragile originals. The historical archives are in Carmarthen Record Office, the National Library of Wales and still in the ownership of Lord Dynevor. Archives created by the National Trust since acquiring the property will be stored in the estate office. Cadw maintains an archive in Cardiff and the Wildlife Trust records will continue to be held at their offices in Cilgerran.

To provide as much physical access as is compatible with conservation, health and safety and operational requirements

The National Trust discharges its statutory duty to provide public benefit through provision of access. Unless managed and controlled this has the potential to damage conservation interests. It is the policy to provide access to the entire property except where constrained by conflicts with maintaining significance, health and safety and operational requirements.

The long-term aim is to use Home Farm as an entry point. It has the potential to welcome visitors and explain Dinefwr Park without the associated facilities impacting on the significance of farm buildings, the designed landscape, Newton House, the natural environment or the buried archaeology. This can be achieved without compromising historic integrity and will contribute to overall conservation objectives. It will ensure that these buildings will have a purpose and will once more contribute to the economy of the estate and the locality. Facilities will not be expanded without specific management reasons though increases in visitor numbers, caused by factors outside our control, should be accepted and anticipated.

In the short term visitor access will continue as at present and facilities will be divided between the car park and Newton House. The present tea room will be moved to the billiard room which will be specifically refurbished. A new exhibition explaining the value and significance of the landscape will occupy part of the ground and first floors and rooms will be set aside for exhibitions and community use.

  • To provide access for all with due regard to conservation, safety and operational requirements
  • To open up historic routes
  • To provide facilities for visitors that do not impinge on the spirit and character of the property
  • To maintain public rights of way
  • To provide access to the full range of information regarding significance of the property
  • Access to and from the property by public transport, on foot or by bicycle will be encouraged
  • To work towards the establishment of an entry point at Home Farm

Strategy

  • It is the intention that physical access to the property will be on foot by means of an integrated network of paths. Where possible access will be confined to historical paths and no new paths created.
  • Access arrangements to the castle will be maintained and Cadw will consult with partner bodies within the park management regime before amending these arrangements
  • Access for all will be promoted by providing facilities for people of all abilities. Disabled access (by car) to the castle will be maintained.
  • An explanation of the all aspects of the significance and management of the park within the visitor facilities will fulfil the obligation to provide intellectual access.
  • In the short term the present car park will be realigned and extended to move vehicles away from veteran trees. The East Drive will be repaired but, because of its historical significance, the present dimensions will be retained including passing places.

To improve interpretation and learning as a means of EXPLAINING SIGNIFICANCE and enhancing visitor enjoyment

  • To integrate and co-ordinate interpretation and learning policies and strategies so that Dinefwr can be presented as a cohesive whole, irrespective of ownership or management responsibilities
  • To interpret and present all elements of Dinefwr Park so that visitors have a clear understanding of the significance of the landscape, including its ecology and chronological development
  • To ensure that management, interpretation and learning strategies acknowledge Dinefwr's role as a cultural icon in Welsh history and identity
  • To instigate a programme of lifelong learning and develop Dinefwr as a resource that will educate and inspire
  • To install uniform signage throughout the park

Strategy

  • High standards of interpretation and presentation will ensure that visitors appreciate the importance, value and excitement of all aspects of the landscape and buildings of Dinefwr. Structured information presented in a clear manner will enhance enjoyment.
  • The National Trust interpretation and learning strategy will be implemented and an interpretation plan prepared. A multi-faceted range of material will be provided and there will be scope for regular updates. Specific space within Home Farm will be allocated and education will encompass not only formal groups, but also every visitor to the property. Dissemination of management policies and plans will be included.

To encourage community involvement in and support for the property

The Dinefwr Park Community and Volunteering Plan will encourage access and involvement at all levels and facilitate an open and transparent management regime. By this means it is hoped that the Llandeilo community, and beyond, will continue to have a sense of ownership and pride in the property.

  • To continue to consult and inform on a regular basis
  • To actively encourage and support volunteer involvement
  • To actively encourage participation in specific projects

Strategy

  • Regular consultation will enable property staff to explain our work and to respond to constructive criticism and suggestions.
  • Regular briefings will also be held to inform local authority personnel, both officers and elected representatives, as to our intentions at Dinefwr.
  • The work undertaken at Dinefwr and Newton House would not be possible without the support of dedicated groups of volunteers. This involvement will be encouraged and supported and their comments on the management of the property welcomed.

To continue the long-established acquisition policy

Strategy

Recognising that best way to ensure the long-term survival of the landscape is a holistic approach under sympathetic ownership, the National Trust will continue to avail of any opportunity to acquire land and buildings within the park.

To disseminate the data amassed through the surveys undertaken as part of the Conservation Plan and also those planned as part of the restoration of the park

Copyright of this material belongs to the National Trust who will instigate a programme of publication to ensure that this important material is made available for all. This will not be initiated until the surveys planned as part of the restoration project have been completed or until such time as sufficient information has been collected to inform a particular aspect of the history of the landscape.

Strategy

  • In conjunction with Cadw and the Wildlife Trust to undertake to produce a range of publications that reflects the wide range of data collected and explains the significance of the landscape to all. It is anticipated that this will include both popular and academic books and articles published in both hard format and on the web.
  • Survey information will not be released into the public domain until the programme of publication has been agreed.
  • Original surveys will be held at Dinefwr. Copies will be deposited at the National Monument Record in Aberystwyth and in the County Sites and Monument Record maintained by Cambria Archaeology in Llandeilo.

To continue to work with the Wildlife Trust South and West Wales and Cadw to ensure that the park is managed as a single unit

Strategy

  • A joint working group consisting of property staff and advisers from all three organisations will be established and terms of reference agreed.

To plan, manage, and monitor all aspects of The Dinefwr Project according to Heritage Lottery Fund conditions

  • To manage the Dinefwr project according to established project-management methodology
  • To provide sufficient numbers of staff to facilitate project implementation
  • To inform Heritage Lottery Fund on a regular basis as to progress and targets

Strategy

  • Good project management expertise will be employed to oversee the implementation of The Dinefwr Project.
  • Adequate levels of staff will be maintained to facilitate restoration and future management
  • The Heritage Lottery Fund will be kept fully informed as to the progress of The Dinefwr Project and any variations from plans or policies notified in advance. Property staff will work closely with Heritage Lottery Fund monitors.

SUMMARY OF SPECIALIST POLICIES

  • To restore the layout of the 18 th century park
  • To protect and maintain Dinefwr Castle
  • To protect and preserve park buildings and structures
  • To maintain the historic integrity of Newton House and its setting
  • To maintain the historic integrity of Home Farm and Pen Parc
  • To understand the significance of the archaeology and to thereby instigate an appropriate management regime
  • To conserve and enhance nature conservation significance
  • To conserve the Dinefwr herd of white park cattle
  • To conserve the fallow deer herd
  • To instate an environmentally sustainable agricultural regime that does not threaten the archaeology, ecology or designed landscape
  • To allocate and implement a sustainable use for all buildings
  • To ensure that collections and archives are managed commensurate with National Trust and Cymal standards and that every opportunity to display material is fulfilled
  • To provide as much physical access as is compatible with conservation, health and safety and operational requirements
  • To improve interpretation and learning as a means of explaining significance and enhancing visitor enjoyment
  • To encourage community involvement in and support for the park
  • To continue the long-established acquisition policy
  • To disseminate the data amassed through the surveys undertaken as part of the Conservation Plan and also those planned as part of the restoration of the park .
  • To continue to work with the Wildlife Trust South and West Wales and Cadw to ensure that the park is managed as a single unit
  • To plan, manage and monitor all aspects of The Dinefwr project according to Heritage Lottery Fund conditions
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