UWTSD launches Cynefin – a new Outdoor Adventure Education Centre in Carmarthen


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David yesterday launch Cynefin – a new Outdoor Adventure Education Centre in Carmarthen.  Its aim is to become an accessible hub for the University’s BA Outdoor Adventure Education and MA Outdoor Education students enabling them to further enhance their skills and develop their understanding of Outdoor Adventure.


It is also hoped that Cynefin will become a base for developing opportunities for students who want to work with a range of community groups as well as with outdoor adventure businesses and organisations across the region.  The development of Cynefin allows for further partnership work with Carmarthenshire County Council and Hywel Dda Health Board too, building on established initiatives such as UWTSD’s Centre for Health & Ageing as well as promoting additional Health and Wellbeing projects within the region.  There are further opportunities to work with a range of other partners and organisations including the Youth Service and Duke of Edinburgh schemes.

“For more than sixty years, students at UWTSD’s Carmarthen campus have enjoyed outdoor education.  We are now looking forward to developing our provision and establishing a new site as a base for our degree programmes within the School of Sport, Health and Outdoor Education,” says Graham Harvey, the University’s Outdoor Education Programme Director.

“Our new base is called ‘Cynefin’ and the name itself is significant.  Loosely translating as ‘habitat’, the word Cynefin also relates to spirituality and belonging.  In ecological terms a habitat is a place that allows an organism to sustain growth and development, in which to thrive.  Cynefin will offer a habitat for our students, enabling them to sustain personal growth and wellbeing through outdoor experiences by providing a unique network of people and resources,” adds Graham.

Cynefin sits on a magnificent, green site on the outskirts of Johnstown in Carmarthen.  The new centre’s location is perfect for those either teaching or learning about Outdoor Education.  It has direct access to the river Towy; the Wales Coast Path passes through and a Forest School site has been developed which will be used by students on UWTSD’s Early Years programmes as well as being providing a venue for as well as training in Forest School activities.  Cynefin is also home to a huge wildlife area that is part of a sites of special scientific interest (SSSI).

Since moving into Cynefin, the University’s adapted the huge barn to include a large classroom with excellent IT facilities, a student lounge, kitchen, drying room, bike workshop and toilet facilities.  The grounds have also been improved and over 500 trees have been planted but one of the main developments has been the installation of a new bike trail.

Graham and a number of staff at UWTSD have been working closely with a leading mountain bike trail building team to create an extensive mountain bike skills and pump track that sits at the very heart of the site.  There is also a dedicated bike workshop on site available for students to enhance their bike maintenance and repair skills.

“We are so excited to have the bike trail as part of our provision at Cynefin – it’s a superb facility and one that no other university in the UK can offer.  The Mountain bike track also strengthens Carmarthenshire’s vision and ambition to be the ‘Cycling Hub of Wales’ as it provides a specialist venue for education and training,” continues Graham.

“The site offers fantastic scope for other activities and events and we are exploring the possibility of building a slipway on to the river as well as developing camping facilities; an orienteering course, a training wall for climbing and potentially, an accommodation block.

“This is a really exciting development for UWTSD - no other university in the UK has a base like this.  We are confident that Cynefin will help ensure that Outdoor Education at UWTSD continues to grow with our students being offered the best facilities in the heart of Carmarthenshire.”

The Outdoor Adventure Education undergraduate degree programme is a blend of theoretical and practical modules designed specifically to meet the growing career opportunities within the outdoor sector.

Carmarthenshire is an ideal location for studying Outdoor Education with the local, natural surroundings providing the perfect outdoor classroom.  As well as coasteering, biking, caving. kayaking, canoeing and climbing locally, students also have the opportunity to travel further afield to experience adventures such as winter skills training in Norway; hot rock climbing in Greece, canoeing in Canada and mountain biking in the French Alps.

UWTSD Carmarthen’s campus already has a strong reputation for offering students the very best in Outdoor Education.  It is hoped that the establishment of the Cynefin centre as a base for its provision will allow the School of Sport, Health and Outdoor Education to grow and to further enhance students’ experiences during their time at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

To find out more about the undergraduate and postgraduate Outdoor Education courses offered at UWTSD - as well the opportunities available to study at Doctorate level for a PhD - please visit www.uwtsd.ac.uk/cynefin or contact Graham Harvey directly by emailing G.Harvey@uwtsd.ac.uk


Further Information


For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 / sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk