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Campaign to train Welsh-speaking outdoor activity leaders to give visitors a taste of the ‘real Wales.’

04 Jul 2021 3 minutes Read
Tryfan mountain in Eryri (Snowdonia). Picture by Robert J. Heath (CC BY 2.0).

A campaign has been launched to train Welsh-speaking outdoor activity leaders to give visitors ‘a taste of the real Wales.’

CAMU is a campaign by Mentrau Iaith to establish a brand to encourage more businesses to offer activities through the medium of Welsh and train local people to be activity leaders who can use their skills to “offer a truly Welsh experience for visitors.”

The aim is that the activity leaders will then be able to introduce visitors to our history, place names, mythology, nature and give them a taste of the real Wales. 

The CAMU launch is being held at Dinas Dinlle, near Caernarfon tomorrow (July 5th).

As part of the event two of CAMU’s member businesses – Wild Elements and Pellennig – will provide seaside nature workshops for children and a surfing lesson for its regular members.

‘Under-represented’

The sector is hugely important source of jobs and is worth half a billion pounds every year to the Welsh economy.

But in the north of Wales, where many people speak Welsh, those who speak the language are underrepresented in the industry.

Meirion Davies, Chief Executive of Mentrau Iaith Conwy said: “We were aware when we started the work 15, 20 years ago that there were only 5% of the workforce were Welsh speakers in an area where it’s something like 60% Welsh speaking.

“We’ve been getting money to train people so that they can take work in this field rather than perhaps leaving the area.

“It’s going to strengthen the Welsh language.”

It is hoped training Welsh speakers will give visitors a unique perspective of the area.

‘Mythology’

“We make sure all the instructors have had some kind of training in their sense of place,” Meirion said.

“They know the history of the area, the mythology of the area, the fauna, the names in Welsh.”

After over a decade working in the outdoor recreation sector, Menter Iaith Conwy has provided funding for training budding instructors in the sector.

Thanks to this funding, over 300 instructors have been trained during that time, who now work or run businesses in the sector.

This means that the percentage of Welsh speakers who now work in the industry has increased significantly compared to 15 years ago. 

‘Popular’

Llywela Owain, Senior Language and Scrutiny consultant for Menter Iaith Gwynedd (Hunaniaith) said: “We’ve known for about 20 years that local people and Welsh speakers are underrepresented within the outdoor pursuits sector in North West Wales. This campaign between the Mentrau Iaith and some businesses within the outdoor pursuits sector are part of the plans to try and tackle this issue.

“With the outdoor pursuits sector proving to be more popular than ever, we need to ensure that new work opportunities are available locally to our bilingual young people, who are completing outdoor pursuits courses in our Secondary Schools and Colleges. Also, it is our hope that, over time, more businesses and individuals will join CAMU as it develops and expands.”

Owner of Anelu/ Aim Higher Stephen Jones added: “As a company working in the great outdoors in Gwynedd we welcome this campaign to raise awareness and support local Welsh businesses in a sector where the majority of visitors currently don’t necessarily gain a truly Welsh experience.

“We are very eager to change this and share the story of Wales with children and adults who enjoy the Welsh experience.”

You can find out more by joining the Camu Facebook Group

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Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
3 months ago

Syniad da 😊

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
3 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

Dw i’n cytuno. This should be part of a wider project to control the low-yield saturation tourism currently operating in Cymru, especially in Eryri. New Zealand has a successful system of providing quality holidays in its mountainous areas while preventing a year-round free-for-all. The use of Welsh-speaking tour guides would also add educational value to a trip up a mountain.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
3 months ago

“A campaign has been launched to train Welsh-speaking outdoor activity leaders to give visitors ‘a taste of the real Wales.” To an outsider this could be understood to mean that Welsh speaking Gwynedd is the “real Wales”? Does this mean that the majority of the country is unreal Wales?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
3 months ago

No. The rest of Wales is the real Wales, too. You see, the rest of Wales is in Wales.

Meirion
Meirion
3 months ago

Sut Mae Nick, ein bwriad buasai ymledu y cynllun ar draws y wlad ond ei fod wedi cychwyn yn y Gogledd Orllewin gan fod twristiaeth gymaint o ffactor yma / Our aim would to spread a similar scheme across the country, bit it has started in the Northwest as tourism is such a factor here.

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