Forest challenge raises 120,000 for cancer patients

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10 JUNE 2010NEWS RELEASE No: 13666

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The forests of Wales provided a spectacular backdrop as office workers ventured into the great outdoors to raise money for people with terminal cancer.

The "Great Escape Challenge" took teams of white collar workers from all over Britain away from their desks for a series of tasks in Welsh Assembly Government woodlands in south Wales.

The event, which was held in Talybont forest near Talybont-on-Usk in the Usk valley and Taf Fechan forest near Pontscill north of Merthyr Tydfil, raised £120,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The event involved a number of team challenges designed to test competitors' physical fitness, agility, strategic planning, reactions, memory, lateral thinking and engineering skills during an eight to ten hour adventure in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Held predominantly in Forestry Commission Wales-managed forests, the route contained the unspoiled beauty of rivers, forests, reservoirs, waterfalls and mountain trails.

Paul Dann, Forestry Commission Wales Local Area Manager, said the woodlands of Wales offered wide-ranging opportunities for recreation and the Commission helped many charities to raise thousands of pounds throughout the year.

"We have some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK and I was thrilled by the huge amount of money this event raised to support terminally ill cancer patients," he said.

Kathryn Betts, Marie Curie Cancer Care Events Coordinator, said, "Thanks to Forestry Commission Wales, this event was an amazing success and has played a major role in generating valuable funds.

"Furthermore, I know that the people who took part were very grateful to have discovered such a beautiful part of the country!"


Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages the 126,000 hectares/311,000 acres of woodlands owned by the Assembly Government.

Marie Curie Cancer Care provides care for terminally ill patients in their own homes at the end of their lives. Its nurses work all across the UK and make it possible for patients to be at home with their loved ones in familiar and comforting surroundings rather than on a hospital ward for the final days, weeks or months of their lives.

For more information on events in Talybont forest and Taf Fechan forest, contact Paul Dann on 01558 690325, email

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on the Forestry Commission Wales website,

For more information on Marie Curie Cancer Care, contact Kathryn Betts, Marie Curie Cancer Care Events Coordinator, Special Projects, on 0207 091 4137 or 07786 197 238, email

Media enquiries to Forestry Commission Wales Information Officer Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922.