Young offenders got their hands dirty for a good cause recently when they helped tidy up a mountain bike trail in Cwmcarn Forest Park, near Newport.
The eight young people from the Monmouthshire and Torfaen Youth Offending/Prevention and Intervention Team were briefed by Forestry Commission Wales’s Mountain Bike Ranger Carl Denham before being kitted out with spades and getting stuck into maintenance work at the Twrch Trail.
They spent six evenings clearing loose stones and rocks from the trail while Carl remained on hand to offer support and guidance.
Carl said, "‘The work carried out by the Monmouthshire and Torfaen Youth Offending/Prevention and Intervention Team at the Twrch Trail is invaluable as it has helped us keep this busy route safe for the mountain bikers visiting Cwmcarn Forest Park.
"All the young people showed a good positive attitude and a willingness to learn about the mountain bike trails and the forest and I would not hesitate in welcoming them to work here again."
The Monmouthshire and Torfaen Youth Offending/Prevention and Intervention Team is run by Torfaen County Borough Council. It aims to prevent offending and re-offending by young people aged 10-17 and supports them to become positive members of the community.
By working on projects such as the trail maintenance at Cwmcarn Forest, the young people learn team building and leadership skills as well as receiving a boost to their confidence and self-esteem.
Andrea Willliams, the youth worker from the Monmouthshire and Torfaen Youth Offending/Prevention and Intervention Team who accompanied the young people to Cwmcarn Forest, said, "The youngsters really enjoyed working on the mountain bike trail.
"They felt a great sense of achievement during the day, especially when riders said thank you to them as they cycled past."
Picture caption: young people from the Monmouthshire and Torfaen Youth Offending/Prevention and Intervention Team working on the mountain bike trail at Cwmcarn Forest Park
NOTES TO EDITORS
Youth Offending Teams
Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) were established under the Crime & Disorder Act 1998 which required every Local Authority in England and Wales to establish a YOT in their area.
Their primary task is to prevent offending and re-offending by children and young people (aged 10-17).
Forestry Commission Wales
Cwmcarn Forest Park is managed by Forestry Commission Wales on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.
About 14% of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
Forestry Commission Wales provides advice on forestry policy to the Minister responsible for forestry. It provides grant aid to the private sector and regulates forestry by issuing felling licences.
Forestry Commission Wales is also part of Forestry Commission GB and contributes to the international forestry agenda.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
Press office contact: Mary Galliers, email@example.com, 0300 068 0057.