Bridgend County Borough’s first ever, award-winning farm park, based in the grounds of Bridgend College, Pencoed, has now opened its farm gates to visitors.
A Bridgend Business Forum member, Ddraig Valley Farm Park was officially opened by the Mayor of Bridgend County Borough, Councillor Reg Jenkins and Mayoress, Mrs Teresa Jenkins in a special launch event last month.
Set up by former Bridgend College students, Geraint Robson and Caitlyn Corless, the unique attraction offers visitors the chance to get up close to some interesting and unusual wildlife – from more traditional farm animals, such as goats, sheep, chickens, ducks and geese, to more exotic species, such as tortoises, iguanas, terrapins, quails, donkeys and alpacas. The venue also houses an aviary, containing Diamond Doves, Java Sparrows & Canaries, as well as accommodating smaller animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs. Alongside this, the facility is also a base for students studying related courses at Bridgend College.
To date, the distinct attraction has won an array of local and regional accolades, notably winning the Bridgend Test Town 2015 competition, which resulted in the venue representing Wales in the UK finals of Test Town UK. The new venture also notched up the coveted title of “Overall Best Business” at Big Ideas Wales Celebrated, as well as, ‘Business Student of the Year’ at the Bridgend Business Forum Awards.
Young entrepreneurs and park proprietors, Geraint and Caitlyn, attribute much of the success of their innovative initiative to the range of advice, guidance and support they have received from various agencies.
Park proprietor, Gavin Robson said:
“We could not have achieved this without the amount of support we have had over the last four years. From the guidance we received to write our first business plan from Business in Focus, to the local support and networking benefits we gained from our membership of the Bridgend Business Forum, to the amazing, talented people at United Graphic Design who worked on our branding and marketing, to Bridgend College itself for both allowing us to run our idea independently on their grounds and for the nurturing and support provided by their Enterprise Team, specifically, from our mentor, Entrepreneurship Officer, Ruth Rowe, who has been with us every step of the way. We are so grateful to all of these organisations who have helped ensure that our vision is now a reality.”
Echoing her business partner, fellow park proprietor, Caitlyn Corless said:
“We’ve had an incredible journey so far and we’re looking forward to even more exciting times.”
“It was absolutely fantastic to finally welcome our first visitors and to thank our invited guests to our launch event in April. After some four years in the planning phase, it was amazing to show people around our beautiful park facility and to watch their reactions to being up close to our amazing animals.”
“We were overwhelmed with the turnout and thrilled with all the positive comments we received and are now looking forward to receiving more and more feedback from our new visitors over the coming months.”
“We are committed to Ddraig Valley Park Farm becoming an established educational and leisure attraction within the county borough and to sharing our love of unique animals with as many people as possible.”
Ddraig Valley Park Farm is open every weekend and offers facilities, such as an outdoor picnic area, regular guided tours of their Animal Centre – including the reptile, mammal and fish rooms – a conservation area, as well as an activity area for little ones, which includes a sand pit, chalk doodle board and playhouse, along with seasonal activities and ride along vehicles within the park. Further information on visiting the venue or to book a tour can be found by visiting: www.ddraigvalley.co.uk or by contacting the venue direct on: [email protected].