News and Blog

Jump on your bike and try the new Rookie Challenge

Posted: 20 May 2014

Are you are looking for something to entertain your little ones over the holidays; well look no further than Afan Forest Park! The EU-funded Rookie trail, with kids skills area, is an ‘easy’ green graded trail, which is winding, swerving and built in sections; allowing riders to experience as much or as little as they want.

In addition to the Rookie trail Cognation mtb trails South Wales, in partnership with Visit Wales, are launching a new children’s activity, the Rookie Explorer Challenge. Cognation is a partnership project between Neath Port Talbot CBC, Merthyr Tydfil CBC, Caerphilly CBC and Natural Resources Wales. The project is funded via the Sustainable Tourism Project led by Visit Wales, the tourism department within Welsh Government and supported through the EU’s Convergence European Regional Development Fund. Match funding has been provided by Welsh Government’s Heads of the Valleys and Western Valleys Regeneration initiatives, BikePark Wales and partner organisations

The Rookie Explorer Challenge encourages children to become aware of their surroundings as they cycle along the Rookie trail. The challenge requires children to hunt out wildlife rubbing plaques along the trail within the ‘Kanji Wood’ section.

Pick up your free Rookie Explorer activity pack from Afan Forest Park Visitor Centre to start exploring. Once completed, children will receive a free Rookie Explorer Certificate from the Visitor Centre.

A second wildlife activity trail, the Cwmcarn Wildlife Explorer, has also been launched at Cwmcarn Forest Drive, Caerphilly, through the Cognation project.

Councillor Ali Thomas, Leader of Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council said ‘Afan Forest Park is a fantastic location to visit all year round and the Rookie trail is the perfect place for children to develop mountain bike skills. The new Rookie Explorer Challenge blends mountain biking with learning about the local wildlife in an easy and fun environment’.

Peter Cloke, Forest District Manager, Natural Resources Wales said: “The Rookie Explorer Challenge trail at the Afan Forest Park is an excellent addition to the trails here and last year alone welcomed 29,000 visitors, bringing a welcome boost to the local economy. The Park has excellent facilities which allow people of all ages to enjoy the fun and benefits of being outdoors.”