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Visitors to Margam Country Park can now truly get in harmony with nature after a new musical trail featuring giant wooden instruments was officially opened.
The trail was created with the help of local school children and meanders past a series of giant musical instruments made from a tree felled within the park itself.
The trail leads from the car park to the new Field Studies Council Discovery Centre and is part of an exciting Forest Education Initiative (FEI) project called Wood Vibrations.
Children from five schools in Neath Port Talbot watched a tree being felled and then worked with local green woodworker Scott Blytt Jordens of Dragonfly Creations to create the musical instruments which people can play as they walk along the trail.
The project was made possible after Neath Port Talbot FEI Cluster Group secured FEI funding which was matched by the local authority, the environmental education charity the Field Studies Council and Groundwork Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend.
FEI is administered by Forestry Commission Wales's Woodlands for Learning team and brings together teachers, Forest School practitioners, timber industry representatives and environmental educators who appreciate the value of woodlands as a stimulating outdoor learning environment for everyone.
Amy Phillips, FC Wales Education Officer for Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, led the children through the whole process of transforming a tree into the park’s new woodwind section.
She said, “By seeing the tree being felled and being involved at every stage, the children were able to learn about the many benefits of trees, woodlands and timber and understand how locally-sourced wood can be used to produce a variety of everyday objects.
“The project also gave them practical skills in working with wood, increased their social skills and will hopefully engender a sense of pride in their local environment.”
The children involved in the project held a celebration event ahead of this week’s public opening of the trail, trying out the instruments and singing songs as they made towards the Discovery Centre.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Forestry Commission Wales’s Woodlands for Learning team delivers woodland-based learning experiences throughout Wales and supports the development and delivery of Forest School.
FC Wales puts between £30,000 to £40,000 each year into the FEI partnership fund which is available to all 22 FEI cluster group members in Wales. For more information visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-77LDBM.
Forest Education Initiative aims to increase the understanding and appreciation, particularly among young people, of the environmental, social, and economic potential of trees, woodlands and forests and of the link between the tree and everyday wood products. It brings together teachers, Forest School practitioners, timber industry representatives and environmental educators. For more information visit www.foresteducation.org.
Neath Port Talbot FEI Cluster Group comprises the following partners:
Field Studies Council at Margam Country Park Discovery Centre, Margam Country Park staff, Groundwork Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot and Forestry Commission Wales Education Officer Amy Phillips. For more information about the group, go to http://www.foresteducation.org/local_groups.php?id=148
The groups taking part in the Wood Vibrations project were Gnoll Primary School, Tonmawr Primary School, Crynallt Primary School, Neath Abbey Infants, Eastern Primary School and Playworks..! and Wise Up! home education group, which promotes play for children and young people in Neath Port Talbot.
Press officer contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email firstname.lastname@example.org