Worshipful Company of Farmers reunite at Bluestone

Friday 13th August 2021 11:19 am
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The Worshipful Company of Farmers meeting Bluestone CEO, William McNamara (centre). ()

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A delegation from the Worshipful Company of Farmers has visited Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire to meet with its CEO and a former dairy farmer, William McNamara.

Bluestone welcomed the 35th Advanced Farm Management Course of the Worshipful Company of Farmers for their annual reunion.

The Worshipful Company of Farmers is a Livery Company linked to the Livery Companies of London and its purpose is to inspire, encourage and develop excellence in the management of British agriculture.

Since its formation in 1946, it has promoted farming to the nation, developed professionalism within the farming industry, and supported a wide range of charitable organisations.

After a visit to Pembrokeshire’s Puffin Produce in the morning, the group visited Bluestone to speak to Mr. McNarama, a former dairy farmer, to gain further insight into the creation of the holiday resort on what was previously his farm.

Speaking about the visit, Mr. McNamara said: “I was greatly honoured to have had the opportunity to host the 35th group of the Worshipful Company of Farmers at Bluestone. With my roots firmly in farming, it was a pleasure to share Bluestone’s story and my own experience of farming diversification.”

Meurig Raymond added: “To see at first hand the amazing development of the Bluestone Resort over the past 13 years was a great privilege and a highlight of our trip to Pembrokeshire.

“The group were most impressed by the Bluestone story; the incredible amount of investment into a world class holiday resort, and the sheer passion and enthusiasm which William and his team portrayed during our tour.

“There is no doubt that Bluestone is a real jewel in the future of tourism in Pembrokeshire and many of our group indicated that they will be returning with their families to enjoy the wonderful facilities at the resort.”

William spoke to the group about growing up working on the farm, located in South West Wales, and how he believed he was destined for a career in agriculture. After attending agricultural college, expanding the family’s milking herd and harvesting Pembrokeshire new potatoes, it was the introduction of milk quotas that first encouraged him to diversify into leisure.

Bluestone is now one of the largest tourism operators in Wales, welcoming 160,000 staying visitors to the resort each year with an average annualised occupancy of 97 pere cent.

The resort contributes in excess of £17m per annum directly into the local community through the supply chain and payroll, and as a Green Key accredited business is committed to sustainable tourism, most recently banning the sale of plastic water bottles on the resort in partnership with Refill Wales. Over 700 people are employed in permanent, long-term positions across the site.

The 35th group, led by Meurig Raymond, who is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Farmers, were treated to a full guided tour of the resort by CEO, William McNamara which included Serendome - where they enjoyed afternoon tea - and the newly opened HIVE activity centre. They also met other Bluestone team members, including director of operations, Rebecca Rigby.

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