Good Practice Database - Country - UK - Elan Valley
Good Practice Database

Elan Valley

Practice on:

Elan Valley Trust and visitor center Demonstrates major Public company engageing with the community, while pursuing its own business objectives. Demonstrates good integrated working between businesses and also demonstrates a number of business registration models.

Practical details:
NUTS 2: UKL1 West Wales and The Valleys
Start date: 01.01.1989
Type of initiative:  public-private partnership
Description of the practice:

Elan Valley Visitor Centre is owned and run by the company Welsh Water and is situated in an area of Special Protection Area under the EC Directive on Wild Birds and falls within the Cmabrian Mountains Environmentally Sensitive Area.

The work within the Elan Valley links to Encironmnetal, Economic and Social public policies in Wales. (

The Elan Valley Estate is owned by the company ‘Dŵr Cymru’ (Welsh Water) Dŵr Cymru takes responsibility for the Visitor Centre, dams, reservoirs, woodland and most of the Elan Valley Trail.
The majority of the Estate is included in a Special Protection Area under the EC Directive on Wild Birds and falls within the Cambrian Mountains Environmentally Sensitive Area. In addition to land that is located within the EC Habitats Directive, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The area has historic significance and records show that the valley has been active since 4000 BC.
Dŵr Cymru established the Elan Valey Trust in 1999 to protect the fauna and flora of the Estate. The objectives of the Trust are furthering the conservation of the environment as well as protecting both natural and archaeological heritage and promoting access and recreation at their sites. These objectives are achieved through partnership working with local organizations and the team of Countryside Rangers.
The visitor centre gives a hands on experience of learning about the local environment and local heritage. Due to its success of its educational work plans are now under way to expand the visitor centre. 

Evidence of success
Biological/biodiversity values:

The 70 square miles of moorland, bog, woodland, river and reservoir are of national importance for their diversity of lower plants and the Estate is the most important area for land birds in Wales. The majority of the Estate is included in a Special Protection Area under the EC Directive on Wild Birds and falls within the Cambrian Mountains Environmentally Sensitive Area. In addition, over 6,000 ha of the Estate is included in three Special Areas of Conservation under the EC Habitats Directive. Almost 80% of the Estate is contained within 12 separately designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These cover a range of habitats, from unimproved pasture and species-rich meadows to ancient woodland, upland mire and the major upland block within the boundary of the 20,000ha Elenydd SSSI.

Visual impact and recreational value:

The Dam its self is a very spectacular feture. In addition the estate has many walks for visitors allowing them to view the wild flowers and wildlife such as birds.

Cultural heritage:

History of the Elan Dam goes back to the stone age. The estate is rich in cultural herritage from the Dam, to Farming, the Railway and also the Geology.

Environmental impact:

Low impact. The Elan Valey Trust and Visitor centre are dedicated to keeping the biodiveristy rich.

Economic viability:

Water catchment land is farmed for profit by tenant farmers. The Visitor Centre creates a range of local jobs and as a resource generally the beauty of the valley and the Visitor centre services adds to the local tourism offereing.

The idea of a visitor center and Trust in specail natural areas is transferable to other regions in Europe.

Contact details:
Name: Edmund Parsons / Glyn Webster (Welsh Water) Andrew Leonard (Elan Valley Trust)
Organisation: Elan Valley Visitor Centre / Elan Valley Trust
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Completed on: 2012.12.11
Date added: 27.12.2012  Hits: 160
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