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factual
OPEN COUNTRY
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Open Country
Sat  6.10 - 6.35am
Thurs 1.30 - 2.00pm (rpt)
Local people making their corner of rural Britain unique
This week
Saturday 24th February and Thursday 1st March (St David's Day) 2007
Listen to this programme in full
Whitesands Bay, St David's
As part of the St David's Day celebrations, Helen Mark visits the birthplace of the Patron Saint of Wales.
St David's is the most westerly point in Wales.  It's a city with an impressive cathedral but is home to just a few thousand people, though the tourists swell its numbers in the summer months.
 
Nona Rees is named after David's mother, St Non and is the Cathedral Librarian.  She takes Helen to the birthplace of St David, a cliff top a mile from the city centre.  She describes David's dramatic birth and explains why it was he was eventually adopted as the Patron Saint of Wales.

Ffion Rees is Nona's daughter and a Senior Skipper on one of the guided tours around Ramsey Island which lies just off the coast near St David's.  She takes Helen on a cliff top walk along Ramsey Sound in a search for some of the rarest wildlife in the British Isles.

Brian John is a local author and says St David's has played a pivotal role in world geology.  The local rocks are some of the oldest in Wales and became a battleground for geologists in the nineteenth century who were trying to understand how they had formed.

Roy Lewis has been metal dectecting on nearby Whitesands Bay (pictured) for over twenty years.  The finds he's made date back thousands of years and have helped paint a picture of the people who lived in St David's even before the Saint was born.
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