Young poets find inspiration at Vale beauty spots
Schoolchildren from five primary schools in the Vale of
Glamorgan have been exploring the wildlife living on their
doorstep. Once back in the classroom, the pupils will express
their experiences through poetry, which they will present at this
year’s National Eisteddfod in the Vale.
More than a hundred pupils joined the Vale’s countryside rangers
to explore the natural and varied wonders of Porthkerry Country
Park and Cosmeston Lake Country Park.
The ‘nature of our community’ poetry project
is organised by the Countryside Council for Wales and the National
Eisteddfod with help from the Vale of Glamorgan Council. The
primary schools taking part are: Ysgol Iolo Morganwg in Cowbridge,
Ysgol Gymraeg Pen-y-Garth in Penarth, Ysgol Gymraeg Sant Baruc,
Ysgol Gymraeg Sant Curig and Ysgol Gymraeg Gwaun y Nant, all in
Over the coming weeks, renowned Welsh poet and broadcaster Caryl
Parry Jones will be visiting the schools to help children shape
their experiences at Porthkerry and Cosmeston into poems. Caryl
said: “I’m really looking forward to the weeks ahead, helping the
children interpret their thoughts and feelings about their local
countryside and coast. It’s a great way to build children’s
Some of the children explored the coast at Porthkerry. A
selection of their poems will be published on the website of the
new Wales Coast Path as part of celebrating its opening.
According to Mel Stewart, Countryside Ranger for Porthkerry
Country Park, “In the Vale’s country parks, you get a real sense of
peace, being surrounded by, and immersed in, nature. This is very
important to our health and wellbeing in today’s busy world.
“At Porthkerry, the children concentrated on
the coast. They took a close look at the beach by making pictures
using the materials they found there, including pebbles,
seaweed and sticks. They used sweep nets to investigate what bugs
live in the long grass near the beach. The children managed to
catch grasshoppers, crickets, froghoppers, soldier beetles and one
brave child even caught a bumble bee!
“We hope the trip inspired the children by giving them first
hand experience of nature on their doorstep,” said Mel Stewart.
When the National Eisteddfod arrives in the
Vale of Glamorgan on 4 August, the children will be among the first
performers, giving readings of their poems in the Literature Tent
on Sunday 5 August at 12.45pm. After hearing the children read
their work aloud, Eisteddfod-goers may well be inspired to visit
Porthkerry country parks and other fantastic nature sites in the
area as well.
Find out more about the Vale’s nature
Find out more about the Countryside Council
The Vale Eisteddfod is being held from 4-11 August at Llandow,
near Cowbridge and Llantwit Major.