Next month the Drive in Cwmcarn Forest will open its gates and welcome visitors by car for the first time in over six years, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Caerphilly County Borough Council have confirmed.
The date for the grand reveal of the new-look Drive has been set for 21 June, as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease in Wales.
Over the last two years the Drive has undergone significant development to create an attraction that is accessible and enjoyable for all audiences.
Several new all-ability trails have been created along the route opening up access to the forest for all, along with many new picnic seating areas for leisurely lunches.
Parents looking to entertain little ones can look forward to three new play areas, sensory tunnels and a woodland sculpture trail.
A wooden cabin with panoramic views over the valley will provide opportunities for outdoor learning and wellbeing activities, while information signs will allow people to learn more about the history and the heritage of the woodland.
Geminie Drinkwater, Project Manager from Natural Resources Wales said:
“It has been a tremendous privilege to be able to work on this project and see the ideas and aspirations of many local people and visitors brought into fruition.
“Cwm Carn Forest is such as important asset to the local community and visitors alike, providing much needed access to green space. Over the last year the covid-19 pandemic has brought into focus just how important this is to our physical and mental wellbeing.
“What we’ve created here is something that will be cherished by many – young and old – for years to come. It compliments an already impressive array of activities on offer at the site and will provide a welcome boost to the local economy.”
Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Cllr. Philippa Marsden said:
“It is fantastic to be working with NRW to bring this much-loved attraction back to public use. To see the progress made over the last two years has been a pleasure. The impressive green space boasts a range of brand new additions, including the luxury glamping pods and a number of activity areas, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy and we hope that residents and visitors make the most of all that Cwmcarn has to offer in the coming months.”
Last month, Caerphilly’s Cabinet members agreed to a collaborative arrangement with NRW to manage the forest drive. The Council is already responsible for managing a number of other attractions at the site including the Visitor Centre, Raven’s Café and the luxury lodges and glamping pods.
The admission costs for the drive will be £8 for a car, £4 for a motorbike, £15 for a minibus and £30 for a coach.
An official ceremony to mark the reopening of the drive will take place once covid-19 restrictions are lowered further.