Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Japanese students at Afan Forest Park

A group of Japanese students are spending two weeks at a work camp in Afan Forest Park.They are carrying out landscape repairs to Kanji Wood in the Forest Park Arboretum.

For the last seven years, Afan Forest Park has been twinned with a forest in Japan. As part of this twinning, groups of Japanese students come to work camp at Afan Forest Park through the United Nations Exchange.

While here, they will also be doing some work on the Penhydd mountain bike trail to improve one of the sections.

Kanji Wood represents the strong bond between the Afan Forest Park and Japan. Landscape features and wooden sculptures promote the joint commitment that looking after our forests is crucial to the future of humankind.

The idea to set up a Japanese woodland in Afan Forest Park came from a Japanese citizen who once lived in Neath.

Author and naturalist C.W. Nicol came to Afan Forest Park to research a book on how forests were developed and managed.

A signing of a friendship agreement between the Afan Forest Park and Afan Woodland Trust in Japan followed.

Council Leader, Ali Thomas has welcomed the students. He said, "Neath Port Talbot is delighted to host the work camp for the students.

"Exchange visits are an ideal way to enhance the green alliance and show our ongoing commitment to our twinned forest in Japan."

He added, "The twinning of the two forest areas means the Afan Forest Park and the Afan Woodland Trust can exchange ideas and learn from one another, especially through the exchange of students."


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