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New Valleys Regional Park Website Showcases ‘Land Of Discovery And Adventure’

Written by on 3rd September 2020

They are the valleys that helped shape and change the world – and today, they offer not only some of the finest scenery and heritage in Wales and the UK, but also a wide range of outdoor activities such as mountain biking, kayaking and trail walking.

Brought together under the Valleys Regional Park, the natural and cultural heritage of the South Wales Valleys are being promoted as a region linked by 10 sites currently named as Discovery Gateways.

Now, in a new Valleys Regional Park website residents, visitors and local businesses are able to find out more on what they can see and do across the Valleys.  

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said:

“The south Wales valleys offer some of the most beautiful and breath-taking views, and we truly are extremely fortunate to have such a wealth of natural landscapes to enjoy and make use of.

“By working across the region and bringing all of the Discovery Gateways together under one website, we can promote these locations and open them up for visitors and residents to explore and enjoy – at the benefit of the local communities, economy and environment.”

The Discovery Gateway sites include two beautiful locations in Rhondda Cynon Taf, namely Dare Valley Country Park, Aberdare, and Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd.

In total ten places across the valleys region are featured, with the other Discovery Gateway sites including the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre, Bryngarw Country Park, Caerphilly Castle, Cwmcarn Forest Drive, Cyfarthfa Park, as well as Parc Bryn Bach in Blaenau Gwent, Parc Penallta in Caerphilly, and Parc Slip in Bridgend.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services, added: “I’m pleased to see the new dedicated website launching, which I am sure will help to boost the profile of the ten beautiful Discovery Gateway locations across the south Wales valleys.

“We are so fortunate to have two of our own Discovery Gateway sites in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

“Dare Valley Country Park in Aberdare is undergoing improvement works to introduce family bike pump tracks and a new-look adventure playground. Investment in on-site facilities such as the camping and caravanning shower block and the refurbishment of the hotel secures the park’s position as an exciting visitor destination.

“Ynysangharad War Memorial Park in Pontypridd remains a favourite of all ages, as home to the National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, an adventure playground, visitor centre and acres of space to explore.

“Both of Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Gateway Discovery Sites are conveniently located, and serviced by extensive public transport, cycling and walking trails. They are perfect places to visit and also from which to explore the rest of the county borough and award-winning attractions such as the Welsh Mining Experience, Penderyn Whisky Distillery, Royal Mint Experience and the forthcoming Zip World Tower.

“I’m sure that the launch of the new 2alleys Regional Park website will help in broadening their reach and help to attract even more visitors, which can only be good news for our local economy.”

The new website includes a map of the region with information provided on the Discovery Gateway sites which then link through to the relevant site’s main website. In addition to activities and events taking place, volunteering opportunities will also be listed.

The Valleys Regional Park was announced by Welsh Government in 2018 with £7m investment to help make the most of the area’s rich natural and cultural heritage.

In addition to promoting the Valleys as a destination, the Valleys Regional Park also involves encouraging partners to work towards best practice in landscape management to help improve biodiversity.

The regional partnership is hosted by Bridgend County Borough Council with the board comprising the Council Leaders of the 13 local authorities within the region.