Ramblers Cymru capturing the hearts of local communities through walking
Ramblers Cymru’s community led Paths to Wellbeing £1.2m funded project is seeking to transform walking and nature across 18 areas, by helping people to develop their path network and improve their local green spaces.
Supported by 6 regional officers, Ramblers Cymru will give volunteers the tools and training needed to find and design new routes and improve existing ones. This will help provide important spaces to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the communities.
Sophie Jenkins, who lives in one of the selected areas, Brynberian, said: “We’d love to engage local families and children in the project, inspiring them to take ownership of their local ‘milltir sgwar’ (square mile) and conserve it for generations to come. The benefits would also be felt by our local wildlife, and we would hope to go some way to help to fight climate change and protect our local environment.”
Paths to Wellbeing is a community led project and throughout October, the regional officers ran consultation events to listen to the voices of local people and find out more about the needs of each community.
Project Manager, Hannah Wilcox-Brooke said; “This is a fantastic opportunity to work at a grass-roots level, looking at access to walking in Wales. It’s been great tapping into the knowledge of the people living and working in the selected communities. They’ve already shown so much drive and enthusiasm to improve nature and access to walking in their areas.
“We’re all excited for work on the ground to begin. The variety of communities is really fascinating, each community has its own identity and unique features, but the passion of each one is united. Many people started walking more locally during the pandemic and this work will make it even easier for these communities to access paths and the benefits of being in nature.”
By joining the project, local people will be able to learn new skills to help make their community greener and more accessible to all.
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford said: “It’s great to see another project getting underway supported by our Enabling Natural Resources and Well-being Grant. It is important for us all to be able to access good quality green spaces that supports nature and provides so many opportunities for our health and well-being.
“These spaces are vital for our communities so we can come together and enjoy our local areas. This project and many others supported by our grant programmes are helping us to deliver our commitment to create and significantly enhance green spaces.”
Ramblers Cymru will work alongside the Wildlife Trust Wales and Coed Cadw, the Woodland Trust in Wales, with a key part of the project focused on improving nature. Volunteers will make their community greener for nature to thrive, and it will be a great chance to bring the community together.
With activities such as tree planting, wildflower sowing and wildlife activity days, there’s something for all ages and backgrounds to get involved in.
The selected communities are:
North East Wales
- Clywedog Valley/Caia Park (Wrexham)
- Pwll Glas/Graig Fechan (Denbighshire)
- Llanfynydd (Flintshire)
North West Wales
- Holy Island (Ynys Môn)
- Penmaenmawr (Conwy)
- Penrhyndeudraeth (Gwynedd)
- Llechryd (Ceredigion)
- Penparcau (Ceredigion)
- Rhayader and Llanwrthwl (Powys)
South East Wales
- Grosmont (Monmouthshire)
- Maindee (Newport)
- Six Bells (Abertillery)
South West Wales
- Brynberian (Pembrokeshire)
- Llanybydder (Carmarthenshire)
- Ystalyfera (Neath Port Talbot)
Communities subject to change:
South Central Wales
- Treherbert (Rhondda Cynon Taff)
- Creigiau, Pentyrch and Gwaelod-y-Garth (Cardiff)
- Coity Higher (Bridgend)
To find out more or get involved in a community near you visit: www.ramblers.org.uk/pathstowellbeing
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.