On 8th January the First Minister announced an extension of COVID alert level 4 for a further 3 weeks. This means that the current restrictions at our Discovery Gateways and other parks and green spaces will remain in place and the activities planned for the VRP Guardians will not go ahead at least until the next Government review.
Most of the outdoor green spaces remain open and have provided many of us with the opportunity to get outside for exercise. Exercise is important for physical and mental health and we are fortunate in the Valleys that these green spaces are close to our homes so we are able to use them while adhering to the requirement for exercise to start and finish at home.
If you are visiting one of the Discovery Gateways, please visit the venue’s own website and social media channels to check before you go as some facilities and activities within the parks may not be available. If you are using a local park or green space please follow the guidance, respect others and stay safe.
Green social prescribing is a mental health and wellbeing initiative which helps individuals connect to non-medical services and activities in the great outdoors — and last year, more people in the South Wales Valleys than ever took part.
Since the Valleys Regional Park partnership was established in 2020, the collective efforts of individuals and organisations across the South Wales Valleys has brought a wave of positive change — socially, economically, and environmentally.
On 6th of July, we hosted an event at Redhouse Cymru in Merthyr Tydfil — to celebrate the achievements of the VRP partnership; recognise the roles our partners play in delivering our ambitions for the Valleys; and look ahead to a greener, healthier future in the South Wales Valleys.
On the 29th of March 2023, Valleys Regional Park (VRP) and Groundwork Wales celebrated that its network of community volunteers — the Guardians — have completed nearly 10,000* hours of voluntary work over the last three years.
To commemorate this achievement — as well as the 399,497 sq. metres of land improved by the green volunteers* — a special ceremonial event was hosted.