Door opens onto natural wonderland for children

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27 JULY 2011NEWS RELEASE No: 14823

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A woodland that you enter through a door unlocked the secrets of the natural world for children from schools in Rhyl and Prestatyn.

Children aged between three and 11 visited Bodelwyddan Castle Woodlands to discover the amazing biodiversity of forest life under the watchful eye of Forestry Commission Wales education officer Carolyn Threlfall.

Carolyn, a member of the FC Wales Woodlands for Learning team, organised the sessions for 153 children at the magical walled woodland in the castle grounds to celebrate Biodiversity Week.

Woodlands support a greater diversity of plants and animals than any other habitat type, providing homes for wildlife such as butterflies, insects and bees.

Trees provide food and shelter for all manner of creatures, enriching the diversity of what can be enjoyed during a day out in the woodlands. Holes in the trees make ready established homes for bats, woodpeckers and owls, and areas where trees have been felled can be excellent hunting grounds for birds such as nightjars.

The array of life in our woodlands was brought home to the children during a mini-beast hunt when they found woodlice, a toad, mice in the bird hide, butterflies, worms and centipedes.

They also went on a memory walk, sticking material such as woodland plants to a card to take home as a memento of the visit, and the older children played a food chain game, connecting various different items found in woodlands.

Carolyn said, “Woodlands are an endless resource for learning and the biodiversity within even a small area is immense, as the children found out for themselves.

“There’s an amazing abundance of flora and fauna right on our doorstep and it was wonderful to see the children’s faces light up as they explored this rich habitat.”

The woodlands, just off the A55, are owned by the Bodelwyddan Castle Trust and are entered through a door which leads from the castle’s formal garden.

The children who enjoyed the days out were from Ysgol Clawdd Offa, Prestatyn, Ysgol Hiraddyg and Ysgol Emmanuel, Rhyl, part of the North Wales Coast regeneration area.

Caption: Children from Ysgol Clawdd Offa can barely contain their joy after discovering items in Bodelwyddan Castle Woodlands.


A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.

The Woodlands for Learning team delivers woodland based learning experiences throughout Wales, supports the development and delivery of Forest School and facilitates the Forest Education Initiative on behalf of its partners.

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email