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Discovery Festival 2013, Dare Country Park, Aberdare

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The Opportunity

A chance to invest in a showcase outdoor recreation festival in the South Wales Valleys. This event will be held during the Autumn Half Term Week 2013 (28th Oct – 3rd of Nov), and launched from Dare Valley Country Park. It aims to publicise the entire diverse recreational offer of the South Wales Valleys, and is giving investors/partners the opportunity to get involved in a variety of ways.

This flagship ‘Discovery Festival’ event will provide a carefully crafted selection of unique outdoor recreation themed activities. From the bespoke and high octane to the more sedate and family orientated, and will take in some of the region’s best facilities and attractions.

We will be working closely with the a network of the regions very best outdoor activity providers (many of which are award winning), to design some innovative outdoor themed activities, such as the opportunity to take part in an underground ghost tour through some of the area’s best caves, or abseil off some of the areas world class heritage icons (castles, pit wheels etc), and Dark Sky astronomy themed events, from planetarium showings for all the family to wild overnight camps in some of our best landscapes

The target audience are visitors within a 2 hour drive time who will be attracted via the Visit Wales and regional tourism marketing of the region, with the www.thevalleys.co.uk campaign behind this initiative. Additionally, the events will attract local families and communities across the South Wales Valleys, and especially those living in close proximity to the events. 3000 attendees are anticipated.

This event will be coordinated by the Valleys Regional Park Outdoor Group, which comprises representatives from a variety of organisations including Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales, Local Authorities, outdoor Activity Providers (SWOAPG) and third sector bodies like Groundwork Wales, SE Wales Rivers Trust, and the local tourism sector (the Valleys Regional Park project has over 40 partners – please refer to: www.thevalleys.org.uk)

We have already secured around £10k funding under the European WECAN initiative, and are offering partners/investors to get involved and further help us maximise this impact of this event

The Location

This themed week of activities will predominantly be based at the Green Flag award winning Dare Valley Country Park. However, this is a Valleys Regional Park led initiative and as such we will be aiming to showcase the plethora of world class recreational opportunities on offer in the region at other sites (however the geographical extent of these activities depends upon the level of additional support we are able to secure beyond our initial funding). It is envisaged that the bulk of activities will be based from Dare Valley country park in RCT, but participants will also use the site as a launching point for exploring further activities in the VRP area. We will be working closely with local communities and partners to identify additional flagship type events, run at other sites, which can be branded under the ‘Discovery’ banner.

In-Kind Support Required


Type of Support Required

We will be looking for volunteers to act as stewards on some of the events/activities (we do, however, intend to utilise some of our trained valleys ambassadors to help deliver these events); nevertheless, private sector volunteers will be welcomed, as there will be plenty to do both on the events themselves and in the logistics leading up to and beyond the events.

We need to provide some transportation to deliver the events e.g. mini bus/coach shuttle to VRP attractions/activities. Any potential partners are more than welcome to help us by providing transportation logistics. local food providers may be able to help us with delivering catering and refreshment for the activities, as would anyone wanting to put on an ‘outdoor themed’ activity.

Any offers from digital and / or graphics businesses wanting to assist with bookings, web, film, photography, graphics, marketing, communications, live streaming of astronomy viewing, wildlife webcams, email lists etc. would also be most welcome. 

Financial Support Required


Value of Support Required

Financial support is sought from £100 - £3000; however, the exact sum can be negotiated. Please see the examples below of the range of investment packages:

  • Gift activity vouchers and other outdoor related apparel for raffles & awards that we are intending to provide during the events. Cost £100 per individual activity voucher (this would be caveated with requiring photographs and endorsements so that both investor and our marketing campaign can benefit from future PR).
  • Non flagship, taster style sessions based at DVCP and surrounding areas, can start as low as £150 per day for workshop style activities e.g. lectures, demonstrations, guided nature/heritage walks or perhaps providing the paint and artist for a street art graffiti workshop for local children from only £500, or providing horse riding activities for local children.
  • We would like to be able to provide local communities with chances to win activity weekends with local providers, in return for blogging and providing content for our marketing campaign. It is estimated this will cost £500-800 to offer a family of 4 a one day showcase Valleys Adventure experience with locally accredited providers (this link into the wider Valleys Marketing campaign, via online content of their ‘activity experiences’, would offer any backers of this package a lot of on-going PR value beyond the event).
  • A high profile event would be the astronomy sessions. These proved hugely successful last year with over a 1000 participants at a series of locations throughout the valleys, and our Dark Sky video got over 30k views. This year we are teaming up yet again with Dark Sky Wales to deliver planetarium showings, solar observation and overnight camps. Estimated Cost £1,500-2000 for 3 days & evening sessions
An example of a more top end attraction that has historically been a big tourist draw is to run a huge zip-line from the nearby mountain into Dare Valley Country Park. The cost of this is £3,000 but previous events of a similar nature have attracted hundreds and hundreds of participants from all over the south wales valley. This would be the key flagship event if we are able to source the backing required. 

Local Name and Contact Details

Luke Maggs Natural Resources Wales/Valleys Regional park – 02920 772400

David Llewellyn Valleys Regional Park Coordinator – 01443 844866

Any Other Comments

We are currently in the planning phase of this exciting project so there is still some flexibility to tailor to specific business investment/support, please contact us for more information.

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