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Our woods at Dare Valley Park looks like a building site…
…and we apologise that at the moment the entrance to our woods is a bit of an eye sore; however we would like to invite members of the public to visit us, or read more about what we are trying to achieve at our building site.
In 2011 our founder had a vision to offer children and adults un-restricted access to the benefits that nature and the local environment can provide. More than simply seeking to get kids outdoors, the vision was to create a space that had educational, physical and mental wellbeing at its heart, for everyone from 6 months to 100 years old. We are really close to establishing Wales; first registered outdoors nursery, Dare Valley Nature Kindergarten – a massively exciting project which will change lives immeasurably; something Scandanvia and Scotland are doing well with.
That vision is being realised at Dare Valley Park
With the support of Chris Richards and local councillor Ann Crimmings, our little social enterprise took residence at Dare Valley Park, leasing office and woodland space. At a time of austerity within RCT where the outdoor and environmental education teams are no more and Dare Valley has taken a hit in terms of staff; we welcomed the support of the council to give us an opportunity to bring our vision to our natural home in Aberdare.
In the last year, we have operated independently of funding and grants to prove our model of training and outdoor based activities works, financially and operationally. In that same time period, we have made huge strides in terms of developing our outdoor space. There are still huge strides to be made.
In the last year we have entertained over 1000 users in our woods. Those users include:
- Parents and Toddlers at weekly sessions, from Cardiff -to- Cwmdare
- Teachers from Turkey; training in Forest School
- ABCS and Ferndale Comprehensives for transition days
- Children and their parents from Years 5 and 6 at: Oaklands, Cwmbach Community, Cwmaman Infants, Abernant, Caradog, Blaengwawr and St Margarets Primaries
- Teachers from over 35 schools to train in Forest School
- Teachers and TA’s from over 50 schools to receive Early Years CPD
- Children from all over Aberdare for adventure holiday camps
- Teachers from Scotland and Devon to train in Skogsmulle
What all of these users have in common is that they have come to our woods, and had a fun and purposeful time. They have left Dare Valley park inspired to get outdoors, inspired to do more with their children and inspired to do more in nature.
We know this because of the returning customers and feedback we receive.
We want to share our story not to defend the state of our woods, but for people to understand that whilst at the moment things looks unsightly, when you scratch the surface, just a little, there is a wealth of good taking place.
We have 3 volunteers who are helping clear the woods. 1 of those volunteers is now working with us after a year unemployed. We are making a role for another volunteer who has stuck with us, after being unemployed for over 5 years.
Please bear with us, as we get more revenue or funding; or volunteer support we will transform this little piece of woodland into an area that Aberdare, Wales and the UK will be proud of.
The below video shows how far we have come.
We are making a difference, and can make a bigger one with the support of local people
Please visit these pages to see the impact we are having:
Go4It residential CapCoch school Aberdare school taster Ferndale transition Parent & Toddler Feedback
If you would like to support our woodland development please visit our [udesign_icon_font name=”fa fa-facebook-official” color=”#dd9933″ size=”2.4em”] and leave a comment of support, or contact us here:
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