A six-month Pembrokeshire National Park Authority play project which is helping over a hundred pre-school children access nature is having a major effect on the way the toddlers are embracing outdoor life.

“Even though we’re only half way through the pilot scheme, we can already see the impact it’s having on all the children who attend as well as their parents,” said Elsa Davies, Chair of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust.

“The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are crucial in shaping their future but there’s been little support in the area up until now for this age group and their families to enjoy the outdoors together.”


The First 1000 Days project was set up to introduce parents and young children from some of the most disadvantaged parts of the county to the health and wellbeing benefits of spending time in the great outdoors.

So far, eight playgroup settings have benefitted a total of 24 adults and 104 children, while additional outdoor activities run by Plant Dewi have been attended by over 80 families.

“Feedback on the two-hour outdoor play sessions has been extremely positive, with many of the parents commenting on how engaged and interested their children have been in the activities,” said Kelly Davies who has helped run the sessions.

The children have learnt how to build dens and hunt bugs while group leaders were given ideas on how to use kit they already own and how to make use of green spaces which are within walking distance of their homes.

Sessions have also taken place at the VC Gallery in Pembroke Dock, where parents and children under the age of two were given the opportunity to socialise through outdoor play

 Over the coming weeks, the group will be introduced to new places and experiences including a meadow sweep on a golf course, a picnic in the Park and excursions to Colby Woodland Garden and Freshwater East.

Over the next six months eight more Early Years playgroup settings and potentially another 12 Flying Start nurseries are expected to participate in the project.

To find out more about the First 1000 Days project, contact http://kellyd@pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk.