Protecting the Place Names of Wales

Llwybrau (Paths)

The National Lottery awarded a grant of £38,000 to the Society to develop the heritage project LLWYBRAU (Paths). The main aims of the project are to raise awareness of the value of place-names as an essential part of our cultural heritage and to encourage the recording of names to safeguard them for the future, using paths across Wales as a theme for the work.

Our place-names face a serious and regular threat when they are changed, translated or ignored. Once lost an essential and substantial part of our heritage and links to our past will disappear. Unfortunately the legislation that protects other elements of our heritage such as buildings, animals and plants has been denied to place-names.

The Society intends to raise awareness of the importance of place-names locally and nationally. It will organise talks, guided walks, exhibitions, workshops and discussion groups to collect and record local minor names (especially names safeguarded and transmitted through oral tradition). We aim to facilitate the analysis and interpretation of these names. It will allow us to develop the work achieved by Gwarchod, our first Place-Name Society project to be supported by the National Lottery.

The project is relevant to the whole of Wales and contributions will be welcomed. We aim to work with individuals, local groups and national institutions, extending our traditional appeal to additional areas and including the older generation, those suffering from ill-health, and residents in less advantaged areas.

The names recorded as part of this project will form a valuable and comprehensive resource that will be accessible to everyone via our website.