A project that encourages people from Wales’ black and minority ethnic communities to visit the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park was celebrated with an action-packed weekend including coasteering, seal spotting and woodland walks.
The Mosaic project, which is co-ordinated by the Campaign for National Parks, aims to increase the number of first-time visitors from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities to Wales’ three National Parks: Pembrokeshire Coast, Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia.
Last weekend saw 42 people from Swansea, Newport and Cardiff visit the Pembrokeshire Coast for a celebration of the project’s success.
Though Mosaic itself is coming to an end in 2015, some of the participants have been so inspired by the world class landscape in Pembrokeshire that they formed a community group, Diversity Outdoors, to continue the work.
Graham Peake, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Discovery Team Leader, said: “Since April 2012, more than 600 people from BME communities in South and West Wales have been introduced to the National Park. Twenty two of those people have been trained as Community Champions and are now able to organise and lead events to bring others here.
“So Mosaic has worked fantastically well and it’s great news that we can continue to be involved with more visits, thanks to Diversity Outdoors.
“The more people that come to value the National Park and appreciate how important exploring it can be for people’s health and well-being, the better.”
Community Champion Sham Azam, of Diversity Outdoors, explained how she has benefited from being involved in Mosaic: “It’s hard work because I also work full time, but when I hear feedback from people about the benefits of the visits to Pembrokeshire on their health and mental wellbeing, it’s worth it. One lady said she’d no idea there was such a beautiful place just two hours from her home, and she’s wanted to book on every visit ever since.”
Mosaic Project Manager, Sarah Wilson, said: “It’s been fantastic to celebrate all the work the Community Champions have done to inspire others to understand and enjoy Wales’ National Parks here in Pembrokeshire. As more people get to know and love our National Parks, we hope this will help protect these fantastic places for the future.”
The Mosaic Cymru Project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s People and Places programme, with contributions from the Welsh National Park Authorities and the Youth Hostels Association.