• www.swoapg.org

    NB we are no longer maintaining this site or publishing Alerts and Updates here: visit www.swoapg.com for our current news-feed as well as membership and gorge-walking information

  • Information about the SWOAPG

    Summary, Member benefits and Joining info

    A brief summary

    The South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group (SWOAPG) is the representative organisation for all providers of Outdoor Adventurous Activities in the South Wales area. It represents its membership to a wide variety of public sector bodies and other organisations, ensuring a collaborative and positive approach to activity provision and development.

     

    The Group is led by an elected Steering Group who represent a broad spectrum of outdoor provision from within the sector, including the Chair and Coordinator. With financial support from Visit Wales the Coordinator manages the day to day administration with members being consulted for important decisions via e-mail or at the AGM.

     

    The SWOAPG Vision Statement can be viewed here

     

    The Steering Group Consists of the Following Members,

    • Emyr Rees, Atlantic College - Chair
    • Ieuan Starks, School Camp - Treasurer
    • Jeff Calligan, Mountain & River Activities
    • Richard Carpenter, Outward Bound Trust
    • Stephen Davies, School Camp
    • Will Kilner, Adventures With Will
    • Roger Lee, Hampshire & Cass Foundation Mountain Centre
    • Katie Lloyd, Princes Trust
    • Jethro Moore, Adventure Beyond
    • Mark Soanes, Call of the Wild
    • Matt Woodfield, Independent - Coordinator
    A copy of the Steering Group Code of Conduct can be viewed Here.

    The benefits of being a member of SWOAPG

    We are very keen for all Outdoor Activity Providers active in South Wales and the Brecon Beacons National Park to join SWOAPG, so that all providers :

    1. have the opportunity to receive e-mail alerts for important issues (such as access and environment) that may effect activity providers and delivery in the South Wales area
    2. are aware of issues and opportunities relating to outdoor activities in South Wales -see Our Work
    3. are able to sign up to the NRW Waterfalls Area Concordat if they are Gorge users
    4. can benefit from the group in terms of information, training, representation and sharing best practice
    5. have ongoing opportunities for networking and inter-business benefits
    6. will benefit from our work in maintaining access agreements and securing new ones

    Joining SWOAPG

    To join SWOAPG please use our online Membership Management System or (for Membership Categories not yet available through this system), contact us for details.

     

    Please Contact Us if you require any further information on joining SWOAPG.

    The AGM and further information.

    SWOAPG hold an AGM between the months of October and November. Full details of the next AGM will be sent to all members in good time and will also appear in the Events section of the website.

     

    The minutes from the 2018 Emergency General Meeting on 19th April 2018 (EGM) can be viewed here.

     

    The minutes from the 2017 14th Full Members Meeting on the 13th November 2017 (AGM) can be viewed here

     

    The minutes from the 2016 13th Full Members Meeting on the 7th November 2016 (AGM) can be viewed here

     

    The minutes from the 2015 11th Full Members Meeting on the 2nd November 2015 (AGM) can be viewed here.

     

    If you require copies of previous meetings and AGM's then please contact us

  • Connect With Us

    Choose your method of contact, we will do our best to respond as soon as we can

    Call the Coordinator: 07989 412415 (leave a message; or text / e-mail for a quicker response!)

  • Alerts and Important Updates

    NB we are no longer publishing Alerts and Updates on this website: visit www.swoapg.com/news for our current news-feed

    Find posted important and useful information, alerts and updates that may affect activity delivery in the South Wales area. If you have an update, alert or relevant member information, please do contact us

  • The Work of SWOAPG

    A summary of some of our projects, tasks, site access agreements and more.

    Click on the pictures to access the full information

    One of the areas SWOPAG have been active in is ensuring access to outdoor activity venues is maintained for the benefit of members across the South Wales region. The effectiveness of SWOAPG has been demonstrated in Swansea with the introduction, without consultation, of a permit scheme for surfing by the City Council at Caswell Bay.

     

    National Trust Access

     

    Early in 2011 it came to SWOAPG’s attention that the National Trust were considering the introduction of a Licensing and Ambassador Scheme on their Gower landholdings. We proactively contacted the National Trust on Gower to convince them to withdraw their single site, single provider ‘Ambassador Scheme’ and to abandon plans to impose Licensing. There is still work to do to secure a long term working arrangement with National Trust on Gower, but progress so far is promising.

    Due to access issues this project is currently on hold

    Click on the picture for information regarding previous inspections

  • SWOAPG Environmental Charter

    To view the SWOAPG Environmental Charter Document choose:

     

    Environmental Charter

    Siarter Amgylcheddol

     

    Scroll down for further information and our suite of resources.

  • Resources and Further Information

    Since SWOAPG was formed in July 2010, many Providers have asked whether the BBNP Outdoor Environmental Charter that had been developed in 2000 could now be taken on by SWOAPG. Enquiring at SWOAPG meetings whether SWOAPG members agree with this, it was clear that it made a lot of sense to keep it and that people working in the Outdoors are generally passionate about an Environmentally Sensitive approach.

     

    Thanks to a grant provided by CCW in 2013/14 the group were able to develop a range of resources and deliver a number of linked events for members. Here you will find links to wider Environmental Resources as well as our own, to help give Activity Providers and Instructors a helping in hand in running sessions that are both Environmentally Educational and Sustainable.

    The Logo

    for signed up members

    The logo is there to show members who have signed up to the charter. The badge can be used to promote their contribution towards sustainable and environmentally considerate outdoor activity provision. If you are a member and not signed up then contact us

    General Environmental Information

    downloadable guides and web links

    Species Identification

    downloadable guides and web links

     

    Click here for a comprehensive guide to the lower plant life of the Mellte and Sychryd (species guide) including Lichens, Flowers, Bryophytes and Liverworts.

     

    Click here for general info about Lichens and Bryophytes.

     

    Click here for information about animal tracks.

     

    Website Links :  

    Bat Identification     

     

    RSPB Bird Guide     

     

    Tree Identification

     

    Wide Ranging Species Identification

     Beach and Coast

    downloadable guide

    This workbook has been designed for instructors to have a range of knowledge and information, backed up with a series of tasks and games for groups using the beach and coast.

     

    Beach and Coast Workbook

     

    Coasteering Workshop Notes 2016

    Caving Resources

    downloadable guides and web links 

    Produced specifically to help cave instructors to develop their skills and knowledge on the environmental aspect of the cave and their caving sessions.

     

    Conservation in Cave

    Flooding in Caves

    Geology in Caves

    Life_in_Caves   Cave_Fossils

     

    Website Links :

      Cave Life   

     

     

    River Canoeing and Paddlesport

    downloadable guides

    Info sheet covering a range of information related to river paddling across South Wales with info on wildlife, geography, hydrology, river features and MORE!

     

    River Canoeing in South Wales

  • Events and Workshops

    Information and details of our up and coming events, meetings and workshops are now at www.swoapg.com/events.

    To book a place or enquire for more info please click on the links for the workshop you are interested in.

     

    Over a period of time the SWOAPG workshop programme has continued to grow and develop and our workshops are often well attended by a cross representation of our membership. Click here for our statement of purpose which clarifies the aims of the SWOAPG workshop programme

     

    Please note, to manage the bookings of workshop places we are using a 3rd party booking agent to manage this on our behalf. To book a place simply follow the links below. It is important you think carefully about booking a place and committing to the event as often our workshops and events are over subscribed but not fully attended. If you are unable to attend once you have booked please contact us.

    Cave Environment

    19th October 2017 - Looking at Geology, life and cave formations at Porth. Free Workshop.

     

    More info and book on via Eventbrite

    2017 AGM

    13th November 2017 - Cardiff

     

    More info to follow soon...

    Coasteering

    Autumn 2017

     

    Book your place Soon

  • Jobs

    Information and Adverts for outdoor related job opportunities in South Wales

     

    If you have a Job Opportunity you would like to be placed on the website please contact us

    Mountain Training Cymru

    Communications Director

    Drovers Cycles

    Bike Hire Manager

    Hampshire & CASS Mountain Centre

    Business Support Administrator

  • Full Project List

    The following section contains information about current (and past) projects and work undertaken by SWOAPG

  • Caswell Surfing Permit Scheme

    The License scheme for Surfing Providers for Caswell commenced on 1st January 2012 and the single day Permit System  started at the same time

    ,One of the areas SWOPAG have been active is in ensuring access to outdoor activity venues is maintained for the benefit of members across the South Wales region. The effectiveness of SWOAPG has been demonstrated in Swansea with the introduction, without consultation, of a permit scheme for surfing by the City Council at Caswell Bay.

    When we became aware of this scheme we entered into dialogue with Swansea County Council about access to Caswell Beach for Surfing. Early in 2011, they set up a License system for up to 3 Surf Providers and awarded a 3 year license to the only provider willing to apply for one. They then stated that no other delivery of Surfing would be permitted. This was all agreed before SWOAPG were made aware of their intentions. Subsequently SWOAPG representatives then met with Swansea County Council and they agreed to set up an additional arrangement for our members, whereby they could book access via a low cost permit system and hence have permission to use the site.

    In the longer term they would be willing to review the situation at Caswell, but that having gone through procurement and awarded a license to a surfing operator, they were not prepared to withdraw that scheme at this stage and so the permit system would have to stay in place for Caswell at this time. They also re-iterated that their motives for doing this were purely driven by concerns about safety due to potential over-use of a what is a relatively small site, especially during summertime.
     
    The License scheme for Surfing Providers for Caswell commenced on 1st January 2012 and the single day Permit System started at the same time. They have agreed to review the situation before the end of the first year and arrange an open meeting for all interested parties to have an input.

     

    Click here for info from the Swansea County Council Website and how to access the permit

  • Glasbury to Hay

    Canoeing Code of Conduct

    A Code of Conduct is now in place for use of the River Wye between Glasbury and Hay. SWOAPG input into the consultation for this code to help create a "least restrictive" outcome.

     

    The Code of Conduct document can be found here and contains all of the information you need to know.

     

    All enquires should be directed to Countryside Services, Powys County Council

    Telephone: 01597 827500
    Email: cefngwlad@powys.gov.uk

     

  • Previous projects and archives

    Information and details of work and projects undertaken by SWOAPG

    Mines and Tunnels Inspection Scheme

    The Scheme had been in place since 1996 and is intended to provide clear guidance for Outdoor Activity Providers on the suitability of Mine and Tunnel sites for Group visits.
     
    The Inspection took place once every two years and sites covered by the report were:

    • Dinas Silica Mines – Black Hole Mine and Blue Stal Mine
    • Tunnels and Culverts at Torpantau (Blaen y Glyn area), Clydach (near Ogof Clogwyn) and Cwm Dyar.

    The inspection last took place on 9th April 2011.

     

    As access has not been granted to inspect the Dinas mines it has not been deemed financially viable to run the inspection. When this situation changes the inspections will restart.
     
    Organisations using any of these sites were recommended to subscribe to this scheme to ensure that their commitments are met in ensuring safe use of the sites from an Insurance, Licensing and HSE point of view. Mines are considered to be ‘places of work’ for anybody taking a group into them, this scheme being a means of satisfying the need to determine the ongoing suitability for access of such sites.

    Subscription was £35 for two years.

    Llangattock Access - 2015

    This access agreement has been in place for some time, but is now due for review. SWOAPG will be working with BBNPA to review the agreement and, if appropriate, launch a modernised version during 2012.

     

    New access agreement is now in place (2015). See BMC for more information

    Valleys Regional Park (VRP) - 2014

    Valleys Regional Park is an exciting, dynamic initiative to co-ordinate, drive and promote activities related to the environment and heritage and associated tourism activities across the valleys of south Wales, working in conjunction with the Welsh Assembly Government’s Heads of the Valleys and Western Valleys Regeneration Programmes, with marketing through the Valleys ‘Heart & Soul’ campaign, to change the reality and perceptions of the Valleys as a highly-desirable place to live, work and visit.


    Over forty partners are involved to deliver these activities in a more effective, collaborative approach, both cross-sector and cross-boundary, towards a regional vision.

    The overall objective is to enhance and promote the Valleys’ outstanding environmental and cultural assets thereby helping to regenerate the area.

    The partnership’s activities cover the area that was essentially the former south Wales coalfield, defined as the Valleys Regional Park in the Wales Spatial Plan.

    SWOAPG attends VRP Activity Group meetings and represents SWOPAG member interest in this project.

    The Big Pitch 2013 - 2013

    Congratulations to Goleg Gwent - Valleys Marketing Team for Winning the Big Pitch 2013

     

    Also prizes for 1st and 2nd Runners up went to - Team SWAG (Ystrad Mynach College) and Reality (Bridgend College)

     

    You can watch a video on the project here

    Blue Green Gym - 2012

    SWOAPG are involved in the “Blue Green Gym pilot” . The Blue Green Gym (BGG) concept is focused on creating a memorable outdoor experience within the natural environment of the South Wales valleys, in the area bounded by the Valleys Regional Park (VRP)
    (see www.thevalleys.org.uk).

    The vision of the BGG is two-fold:-

    1. The BGG becomes the product / investment of choice for those organisations looking to deliver on their corporate social responsibility and gain access to high quality personal development training;
    2. That the BGG is a service that can be tailored to disadvantaged community sectors to provide a range of benefits including health and well-being, environmental awareness and economic opportunities.

    Two pilot schemes are being designed for roll-out in 2012:-

    1. Community product
    2. Corporate product

    SWOAPG representatives have sat on the BGG steering group seeking to protect and further the interests of our members and to ensure a collaborative approach to designing project pilots. A crucial aspect of our involvement has and continues to be ensuing that the pilot schemes designed:-

    1. Are complementary to the existing service provision offered by providers;
    2. Do not displace or replace existing service provision by providers;
    3. Are innovative, different and new to attract new business into the Valleys;
    4. Maximise the opportunities for members in terms of new business, staff training and recruitment.
  • Wales Activity Tourism Organisation

    Our National Representation

    Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter Group

    Our regional partner in the West

    Snowdonia Active

    Our regional partner in the North

  • Funding for this SWOAPG website platform was provided by Welsh Government through Visit Wales

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