Fair Play funding helps bring Rhondda Valley children to the Swansea Valley countryside

Fair Play funding has given a group of Rhondda Valley children the opportunity to explore the Swansea Valley countryside.

Pupils from Penyrenglyn Primary School in Treorchy were the latest year five and six pupils to benefit from the Fair Play scheme, exploring Craig y Nos Country Park as part of their new class topic on rivers.

The UK’s National Parks Partnership and Forest Holidays joined forces last year to launch three projects which offer children from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to experience and explore the countryside.

Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority benefits from the Fair Play scheme which offers schools with more than 20% of pupils receiving free meals, free transport to the National Park for educational visits. And eligible schools are being urged to apply for funding before the scheme comes to an end in March.

Class teacher Amy Sprague said the children and staff enjoyed getting to know more about our river networks at Craig y Nos, despite the rain and the wind.

She said: “We have just started out topic on rivers so this visit was a real nice introduction. They had so much fun measuring the depths of the river and finding out where it starts. Having the transport costs covered really helped support the school to visit Craig y Nos.”

Chair of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority Ed Evans said the cost of transport for schools is often the biggest barriers preventing children from enjoying the countryside.

He said: “In 2017/18 more than 500 children from 11 schools enjoyed a variety of activities at Bannau Brycheiniog National Park thanks to the Fair Play fund. We are extremely thankful to Forest Holidays for breaking down the transport barrier and supporting more and more children to enjoy the countryside.”

Schools with more than 20% of pupils who qualify for free school meals, are entitled to Fair Play funding to cover transport costs to Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority sites for educational activities. For more information contact lora.davies@beacons-npa.gov.uk