DECEMBER 2019 marked the 70th anniversary of the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act which paved the way for the creation of the UK’s National Parks.

This was the result of decades of campaigning by members of the public who were passionate about special landscapes and securing access to them for all.

The Friends of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, an independent charity with more than 400 members, continues the work of the early pioneers by working to protect and promote our local National Park.

The group is celebrating the anniversary with a number of new initiatives, the first of which, the Friends’ Project Fund, will provide small grants to local schools for projects and activities that further the charity’s aims – to conserve the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, or to enhance understanding of its special qualities.

Schools are being invited to apply for funding from this year’s allocation. It is intended that the fund will run for many years and it will eventually be opened up to other youth groups and community organisations.

Friends chairman, Steve Drinkwater, said: “Inspiring future generations to appreciate our amazing National Park is essential for its future development and security. We hope that we can provide financial help to local schools to develop projects and take pupils out into the park to experience at first hand its beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.”

Full details of the Friends’ Project Fund and application forms can be found at:

The second initiative is a long-term project to support the planting of more trees in the National Park and elsewhere across the county.

The Friends want to start a tree planting revolution by working with schools to plan sites, provide free trees and help to plant new pieces of woodland, however modest in size. It is also planned to extend this scheme to work with community councils and other local groups.

The project is being coordinated by the Friends head of policy, Gus Stott, who said: “Planting trees with pupils can make a real difference to everyone. As a direct response to climate change, a home for wildlife and an active outdoor classroom, planting a small area around a school can provide a stepping stone into the natural world and kick start an interest in all things wild.”

The Friends welcomes new members of all ages and continues to run a comprehensive series of events including visits, walks and talks as well as campaigning to protect the future of the park.

A Friends work party carries out conservation and enhancement work within the National Park.