by Joe Wilkins
As well as being the land of song and of my fathers, Wales is also the land of incredible outdoor spaces. From the peaks of Snowdonia to local urban woodlands and gardens, Wales is home to a variety of spaces to connect with the outdoors.
Unfortunately access to these spaces can be limited and inequitable, meaning that many do not have the opportunity to connect with the outdoors. As repeatedly shown in studies, this is bad for people, nature, and the planet. The power of healthy, high-quality green and blue spaces cannot be overstated.
But work is being done to change this.
Across Wales, organisations, community groups, and individuals are doing incredible work to get people outside.
© A Daimond, children in woods
For Wales Outdoor Learning Week, we want to highlight these organisations and the whole spectrum of outdoor learning. To us, “outdoor learning” encompasses everything from maths lessons on a school playing field and knowledge exchange in community gardens to more adventurous activities such as kayaking and bouldering.
There is learning potential and power in each of these activities.
© A Daimond, young people kayaking
How can we take care of ourselves? How can we take care of our community? How can we care for the incredible nature we share this planet with? These are not questions that can only be answered within four walls. A strong outdoor learning component must complement the traditional classroom environment. A chance to witness the theory we learn about in books and classrooms in action, learn lifelong skills, and improved mental and physical well-being.
There is much more work to be done to ensure that every person in Wales has access to high-quality outdoor spaces and learning opportunities and we have a long journey ahead.
But we hope you will join the Wales Council for Outdoor Learning, our partners, and friends for Wales Outdoor Learning Week. A chance to learn, a chance to connect, and a chance to work towards a Wales full of healthy, confident, and resilient people and nature.