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Scheme to protect Welsh place names expanded to include land

01 Aug 2022 4 minute read


Left, picture by Yui Mok / PA Wire. Right, screenshot by Aled Hughes of Ordinance Survey map.

A scheme by Welsh language activists to protect the names of houses has been expanded to include plots of land.

The Diogelwn (we will protect) scheme was launched in 2021 and allowed anyone in Wales to download a legal document that they could use to legally protect the name of their home if it was sold on.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith will today extend the scheme to include land, to be launched at an event in the Cymdeithas yr Iaith stand on the Eisteddfod field (y Maes) today, Monday the 1st of August.

They said that it became obvious earlier this year that there was a need to extend the scheme to includes landnames too, after the name Banc y Cornicyll was lost from the ordnance survey map to be replaced with Hakuna Matata.

Speaking at the event will be Simon Chandler, a lawyer who devised clauses and documents for people to use when the poet and author, Sian Northey, who was selling her house, and asked the Twitter world in 2021 whether it was possible to protect her house’s Welsh name after the sale.

Simon Chandler said: “The scheme exists because there is a call for it, and because the Welsh have a long tradition of self-help. We’re all concerned about the loss of Welsh names, and we’re all keen to see legislation by the Welsh Government which protects those names by statute.”


Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg said they were eager to make it as easy as possible for anyone to protect the name of their home or their land either before or as they were selling. So clauses and documents that contain standard covenants are available to download on the Cymdeithas website.

Only the owner can change the name of their land or protect it by using Diogelwn, but tourist names are replacing natural names such as Carreg Edwen, Coed Llyn Celanedd, Coed Cerrig y Fran a Ffos Clogwyn y Geifr.

At the moment there is no way to stop this but at the event Howard Huws will talk about Cylch yr Iaith’s campaign to press the Government to legislate to prevent the names of landscape areas being replaced by English names.

Howard Huws called it “an attack on a key part of our heritage as a nation, and undermines that which defines our country geographically and culturally; in a word, our identity as a people.”

Cymdeithas yr Iaith start a week of celebration at the site of their first protest


Cymdeithas yr Iaith is celebrating sixty years of campaigning this year, and is holding a week of celebrations on the Eisteddfod field (the maes), starting with a walking and cycling journey from Trefechan Bridge to the Eisteddfod field.

Trefechan Bridge was the site of the movement’s first protest in 1963, when students sat across the bridge and blocked the road as part of a protest for the status of the Welsh language.

Tamsin Davies, Vice Chair, Communications for Cymdeithas yr Iaith said: “Things have changed in a number of ways over the last sixty years and campaigners must be thanked for ensuring that the Welsh language is alive and thriving . It is important for us to acknowledge the contribution of everybody that has been a part of Cymdeithas’ campaigns over the years and celebrate the successes.

“But there is still a long way to go – the majority of children are still deprived of a Welsh education, there are no rights to use Welsh in every situation and Welsh is under threat as a community language so there is a need to continue campaigning.”

At the end of the week Cymdeithas yr Iaith will publish a new manifesto setting out its vision for the future: ‘A Free Wales, A Green Wales a Welsh Wales’

Tamsin Davies added: “There is so much we can learn from the past, but it is just as important for us to look to the future. So I would like everyone who has an interest in the future of the Welsh language and our communities to come to the Cymdeithas yr Iaith stand during Eisteddfod week, to become a member, to join our campaigns and stand up for the Welsh language and our communities. The battle is not over, but together, we can win.”

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1 year ago

Perhaps local planners should be pressurised into only allowing Welsh street names on new developments as
all you seem to see are names like “squirrels holt” and “badgers bottom” to make buyers think they are living in the countryside

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

I always keep a few copies of Welsh Place Names handy as gifts for the visitors and settlers I befriend, with the explanation that they will help you navigate, understand and enjoy our towns, villages and landscape. They also help introduce the language and by helping to pronounce the alphabet and therefore the words, it is a key to a better understanding, less embarrassment and promotion of an early affection for Wales and its history…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 year ago

Here he comes again Mark..

1 year ago

It’s time for the Welsh government to legislate to stop this ethnic cleansing

1 year ago

The issue is endemic in certain areas of Wales and often in areas that have been mostly Welsh in lamguage until recent years. The usual suspects are ‘ business ‘ folk and small builders looking to buy up small plots and put ‘ ventures ‘ on them. Rural Flintshire and parts of Denighshire and Wrexham usualy away from the border but not in ‘ real welsh wales ‘ ( as one scouse potential developer told me at a council meeting when challenged) In reality they dont take away the local name but ‘ badge up ‘ their vision with a… Read more »

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 year ago

The senedd needs to legislate to keep Welsh place names including land particularly new builds should have Welsh names and the owners should not be able to change the names of houses with Welsh names that are particular to the area

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