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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 June, 2004, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Talks to stem bird centre losses
Ducks at the Wetlands Centre
The National Wetlands Centre is home to thousands of birds
Carmarthenshire councillors are to look at helping run one of the county's top wildlife attractions.

Talks have opened over the future management of the National Wetlands Centre of Wales which is operated by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).

The site at Penclacwydd near Llanelli makes a loss although the WWT says there is no danger of it closing due to its national importance.

But it has confirmed it is looking for new partners to help run the reserve.

The public can rest assured the centre is an integral and important part of our countryside and conservation planning
Colin James

It is home to thousands of ducks, swans, geese and many other species of birds and wildlife.

Founded by the late conservationist and broadcaster Sir Peter Scot it is one of nine sites operated by the WWT across Britain.

A spokeswoman said: "The WWT has been talking to a number of possible management partners for the National Wetlands Centre.

"It's not operating at a profit however WWT runs nine sites across Britain and while the majority make a surplus we do keep others for their conservation value.

"We are 100% committed to keeping it open but we are exploring potential funding partners."

Wetlands Centre
The centre overlooks the Burry Inlet between Llanelli and Gower

She said the centre would remain as part of the WWT family and described it as one of the most important sites for birds in the UK.

The reserve was expanded in the late 1990s as part of the 27.5m Llanelli Millennium Coastal Park.

As a result part of the site is already on Carmarthenshire Council owned land.

The aim of involving the council in the running of the reverse would be to improve marketing, promotion and to integrate it into the coastal park.

The council's head of leisure and recreation, Colin James, stressed it was not another Middleton situation where the authority and Welsh assembly had to put a rescue package together to keep the gardens open.

Wetlands Centre
Both the WWT and council say there is no danger of it closing

"We are at an early stage of discussions with WWT regarding a revised management agreement," he said.

"The public can rest assured the centre is an integral and important part of our countryside and conservation planning."

The issue will be discussed by senior councillors as soon as meetings resume following last week's elections.


SEE ALSO:
Bird lovers catch rare glimpse
26 Jun 02  |  Wales


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