Press Releases 2014-2015

Students Learn Benefits of Interacting with Nature


University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) Early Childhood Foundation Degree students recently took part in a practical training day that highlighted the benefits of children interacting with nature.

Students Learn Benefits of Interacting with Nature

The students spent the educational day learning about the benefits of taking young children out to connect with nature. Activities were arranged using natural outdoor materials that also promote the Welsh Government’s Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship initiative. The group made use of the Rockwool Centre in the Pencoed area of Bridgend.

The practical training day was a chance for students to become familiar with trees and wild flowers that are indigenous to Wales. A student on the trip said: “I have learnt so much about nature today, spending so much time outdoors has been fabulous! I enjoyed the day so much. I can’t wait to take children outdoors and help them to interact with nature.”

Senior Lecturer and leader for the day, Eileen Merriman, said: ‘It is vital that practitioners are eager and confident in taking children out to natural locations. We need to ensure that early years practitioners have opportunities to see the benefits of nature for children to enable them to ensure that children take an interest in and respect the world of nature for the future.” Eileen specialises in delivering outdoor educational experiences at UWTSD.

The Early Childhood Foundation course is designed for those working (or possibly volunteering) in early years based organisations who want to gain a higher education qualification related to early childhood. This is an ideal course for those already working / volunteering with young children who would like to be able to study at a higher level. It is delivered in local communities and therefore students can access quality higher education without having to travel long distances. The degree is designed to develop students’ research, evaluation and self-reflection skills so that they are well equipped to question and develop their own professional development.

The hands on focus of the course and the opportunities for outdoor learning ensure that the academic content of the course is closely linked to practice. Students can therefore use their own experience and expertise to support lecture activities.

Note to Editor

  1. For more information please contact Sara Jones, PR and Communications Officer, on 07449 998 478 or via email at
  2. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University
  3. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University
  4. On 1 August, 2013 Coleg Sir Gâr merged with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Group, however they will keep their own brand. Coleg Ceredigion merged with the Group on 1 January 2014