The Valleys Regional Park (VRP) Project is an exciting, dynamic initiative to plan, co-ordinate and deliver activities related to the environment, heritage and tourism across the Valleys of South Wales, working in conjunction with the Welsh Government’s regeneration programmes in the Valleys to change the reality and perceptions of the area, and through the Valleys Heart and Soul Campaign to promote the region as a highly-desirable place to live, work and visit.
Over 40 partners are involved to deliver the VRP project, for an effective, collaborative, both cross-sector and cross-boundary approach. Partnership working is vital to succesfully achieving the overall objective, which is to enhance and promote the Valleys’ outstanding environmental and cultural assets. The Ambassadors can now advise others on how to travel in a more sustainable way.
One of the important elements of the VRP programme is the Community Tourism Ambassador scheme. This scheme encourages volunteers from across the Valleys to receive free, accredited training and become a welcoming host and a source of information for their locality. Once trained, an Ambassador provides a knowledgeable point of welcome for visitors through swapping stories and highlighting the local heritage. In addition, further special interest modules such as arts, religion, outdoor activities, heritage and the environment modules are available.
The ‘Our Valleys Environment’ was the first special interest module, this workshop is designed to build the Ambassadors knowledge of what makes The Valleys environment so special and attractive to visitors and also to promote sustainable transport to residents and also to visitors. Several guest speakers attended within transport these include SWWITCH, Traveline Cymru and Sustrans. As part of the development and promotion of facilities and activities related to the Valleys environment, The VRP Programme wishes to highlight the importance of travel awareness for local residents and visitors.
Traveline Cymru has recommended that ambassadors use and promote to visitors, the services they provide. It is important that the Ambassadors have the knowledge and awareness of sustainable transport so they can pass it on; it is also important to have a link from VRP’s partners to Traveline Cymru. Building awareness of public transport options available within rural areas in The Valleys is extremely valuable. Members of the community can then be are aware of the range of services available in the area and share this information with residents and visitors!
For more information, visit; www.thevalleys.co.uk