Community Care in the Woods
A much desired new path has been created in Rhos y Coed in Trevor near Llangollen, linking together the Community Centre in Trevor to the Canal near Postles Bridge. Many residents have been hoping for a path through this woodland for a number of years.The path provides a direct link for the community to the World Heritage site though a former industrial area where nature has taken over and woodland has naturally regenerated. The new route has been christened ‘The Clinker Path’ as it features a large clinker boulder beside the canal, a dramatic reminder of the industrial past, there are also several smaller clinker boulders within the woodland. Clinker is the waste product from the smelting process in the iron industry. The giant meteorite like large clinker boulder may also be easily mistaken for a tree root plate and many people will have passed by without understanding the significance of its existence. The plan is to keep the vegetation around the clinker clear and provide some interpretation and a bench for quiet canal-side contemplation.
This new path has been made possible by the Heritage Lottery Funded project ‘Our Picturesque Landscape’ (OPL) which centres on the landscape of the Dee Valley and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site. It takes the theme of inspirational journeys that have been, and continue to be, a feature of the area which is cut by the canal, Telford's A5 and the River Dee. The five year project will invest in the resilience of key visitor sites and engage communities in its appreciation and management while reinterpreting this rich landscape for a new generation.
Since the creation of the path, the local Cubs and Beavers groups from Trevor have been involved in planting 47 new trees in place of the 10 trees that were removed during the construction of the path. Eleven children and their parents spent a morning of their half term holiday doing their bit to improve their local environment supported by their fantastic leaders. Elaine Anderson Group Scout Leader said ‘The children had a great time and are looking forward to watching their trees grow, the effort they have put in will go towards their community help badge, we all had a delightful morning.’
Unfortunately the woodland has been subject to some historic fly tipping and all sorts of rubbish has been found, from car bonnets to garden pots. The full extent of the litter problem was brought to light following the creation of the new path through the woodland, enabling people to get up close to the massive meteorite-like clinker, a piece of historical fly tipping in itself, dating from as far back as 1870 and a relic of the local iron industry!
Following the discovery of the rubbish the OPL team contacted Keep Wales Tidy to organise a community Spring Clean event as part of their annual Spring Clean Cymru which is a nationwide campaign encouraging people across Wales to get together to help clean up our beautiful Cymru.
A total of 10 local people, including 4 children gave up a Saturday morning to help tidy up the woods and improve them for both people and wildlife and by the end a total of 20 bags of rubbish and other larger items were collected.
Sallyanne Hall, Community Engagement Officer for Our Picturesque Landscape said: "It was wonderful to see the local community getting involved in the tree planting and litter pick and I am pleased that Our Picturesque Landscape Project has been able to provide this long desired path through the woods. The OPL team hope this will be the start of many opportunities for the people of Trevor to get together and enjoy the fantastic environment on their doorstep".
Scout Leader Elaine Anderson with Cub Scout Olly and Grandson Toby planting a silver birch tree
The final pile of rubbish
The Clinker Path