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Folly Farm founder Glyndŵr Williams dies aged 75

Mr Williams, who was 75, lived on the farm since the 1940s Credit: Family photo

The man who founded one of Wales' most popular tourist attractions has died.

Glyndŵr Williams, who opened Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, passed away after a long illness, his family has confirmed.

Mr Williams, who was 75, lived on the farm since the 1940s after his parents moved there from Haverfordwest.

He married his wife Anne in 1967 and they made the farm, at Begelly, six miles north of Tenby, their family home.

Two decades later, he and Anne decided to open their land to the public which saw it become a tourist attraction welcoming half a million people each year and employing 200 people.

An endangered eastern black rhino was born at Folly Farm earlier this year Credit: Folly Farm

In 2009, he oversaw the arrival of Wales' only giraffes, and earlier this year another dream of his was realised when an endangered eastern black rhino was born at Folly Farm.

That rhino - the first to be born in Wales - has been named Glyndŵr.

Announcing Mr Williams' death, a spokesperson for Folly Farm said:

''It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our founding director Glyndŵr Williams.

“Glyn was always keen to try something new and so it followed that in 1988 they opened Folly Farm as a tourist attraction. Now in its 32nd year the park has grown immeasurably from those humble beginnings to be one of Wales’ top visitor attractions, attracting 500,000 visitors a year and employing close to 200 people during peak season.

“Pembrokeshire and proud, Glyn was fiercely loyal to the surrounding community that had supported him and his business throughout the years. Wherever and whenever possible he would support local groups and charities by offering Folly Farms facilities free of charge for their fundraising events.

“Never one to court the limelight, Glyn was very humble about his achievements. However, it was in 2014 at the Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards held at The Wolfscastle Country Hotel that he was awarded the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Tourism’ Award in recognition of his achievements.

"This, just one of many awards and accolades bestowed upon Folly Farm over the years.

“Outside of Folly Farm Glyn had a great passion for sports and enjoyed watching Rugby, Boxing and Motor Racing. He loved spending time with his family, friends and colleagues and will be deeply missed by everyone that met him.”

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