Outdoor play project launches in Pembrokeshire

Posted On : 30/03/2022

A new initiative aimed at delivering a programme of outdoor play activities for pre-school children has been launched by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust.

With an emphasis on supporting parents and carers of pre-school aged children to access nature and the outdoors, the First 1000 Days pilot will run for a period of 12 months and work with partners to support those with pre-school aged children to access nature and the outdoors.

The first 1,000 days of a child’s life play an important and long-lasting role in shaping their future. Despite this, there is currently very little support in the local area for this age group and their families to access the outdoors together. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this, depriving children and families of many opportunities and experiences, and impacting negatively on mental and physical health.

A UK study commissioned by the National Trust in 2012 indicated that time spent in nature had already halved in the space of one generation, with today’s children spending an average of just four hours per week playing outdoors. Pembrokeshire also has some of the highest levels of childhood obesity in Wales, with more than 30% of children classified as obese.

Kelly Davies, Outdoor Play Worker at the National Park Authority, said: “Using and celebrating the ‘great outdoors’, we hope the project will provide real health and wellbeing benefits for those involved and enable both parents and young children to discover and enjoy some amazing local places in the most disadvantaged parts of Pembrokeshire”.

As well as providing meaningful outdoor play activities and building community cohesion, it’s hoped that the new initiative will boost the confidence of families and groups to go out and explore the natural environment and all the benefits it can bring.

Elsa Davies, Chair of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust, said: “By helping address social isolation in this community, improving mental health and wider health benefits for children in the most significant days of their life and harness a lifelong sense of care and responsibility towards nature and the environment.”

To find out more about the First 1000 Days project get in touch with- kellyd@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk

Two children laying on grass, using a magnifying glass to inspect a butterfly that is perched on a bunch of yellow dandelions

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust is a Charity dedicated to keeping all that is special and unique about the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park landscape here for future generations to enjoy. We care deeply for conservation, community, culture and our coast and want to lead the way in protecting them. Additional funding for this project has been generously provided by the National Lottery Awards for All, CLA Charitable Trust and the Postcode Lottery.

Further information about the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust can be found at www.pembrokeshirecoasttrust.wales.