One of the greatest legacies to be handed down to Ammanford by its mining community is being celebrated in a new mural which has been specially commissioned for the Ammanford Lions Club’s 50th anniversary.

The Marsh Fritillery is a stunning orange, gold and brown butterfly which, as a result of the changes in farming traditions, became virtually extinct throughout Britain and large parts of Europe.

South Wales Guardian: The Marsh FritilleryThe Marsh Fritillery

But in Ammanford it continued to hold its own .

“It’s all thanks to the miners,” explained artist Dani Lee, who was instrumental in helping to create the community mosaic.

“They managed their land very differently to the rest of Carmarthenshire as they chose to keep very small fields that were just big enough to graze a pit pony or a cow.

"And this was the ideal habitat for a wild flower called the Devil’s Bit Scabious which has a lovely purple flower which is what the Marsh Fritillery thrives on.

"So as the butterfly sadly started to die out in other parts of the UK, it remained a very common sight around the fields of Ammanford.”

Efforts are now underway to re-introduce it to other parts of Wales and the UK.

The mosaic has been designed and created by a wide cross-section of the Ammanford community including children from Ysgol Bro Banw who made some ceramic tiles under the tuition of one of Carmel Pottery’s ceramicists.

It was constructed during a series of workshops led by Dani Lee Arts.


“It’s been a great community event as it’s brought so many people together to work towards creating something for their town,” said Dani.

“And by including features like the marsh fritillary, the Devil’s Bit Scabious and of course a miner’s lamp, it’s pays tribute to the miners who worked the land around Ammanford and helped retain that beautiful butterfly.”

The mosaic will be situated on a wall of the Old Cross Inn in Quay Street and will be officially unveiled on July 7 at 12.30pm.