Splashing time at SC2
SC2, North Wales’ most exciting attraction, has opened its doors to the public.
In the 3 weeks leading to the opening, SC2 welcomed over 5,000 local people to try the adventure centre for free ahead of the opening.
Thousands of local people have experienced the thrilling slides of the waterpark and challenged themselves in the TAGactive arenas within SC2.
The £15 million waterpark includes Wales’ first TAGactive play arena, indoor and outdoor water play for all ages and abilities, flume rides, beach style paddling, feature slides and themed food outlets. There is also a bar and terrace open seasonally.
We have received some great feedback and we’ll listen to any suggestions made for how we can make a people’s experience of SC2 even better. It will be a draw to residents and tourists alike for the whole of the North Wales coast and we are extremely proud of this exciting visitor attraction and new addition to the Denbighshire Leisure portfolio of first class facilities.
Whether people have been clambering around TAGactive or taking to the boomerang slide with gusto, and the outdoor splash pads will prove to be a real sunny Rhyl treat. This is something new and exciting not just for the town but for the North Wales coast. There is nothing quite like it for miles around.
As the centrepiece of Rhyl’s waterfront development programme, SC2 is expected to attract an extra 350,000 visitors per year to the town.
SC2 has been funded by Denbighshire County Council with contributions from Rhyl Town Council and Welsh Government.
Visitors can get all the latest information on the SC2 website and their social media pages.
Plans for retail, food and market space for Rhyl’s Queen’s Buildings
Rhyl’s Queen’s Buildings are set to become a pivotal piece in the ongoing regeneration of the town.
The Council is working with private sector development partners to consider how to transform the site into a vibrant mix of retail, food and beverage, contemporary market, office and residential space while improving accessibility from the waterfront and promenade into the town centre.
Plans could also include an open courtyard and public space in the £30million plus development, which includes the former Savoy Hotel and Queen’s Market buildings.
Work is now progressing on the initial designs, costings and viability of the project, which forms part of the long term Vision for Rhyl Town Centre exhibited in the former Granite Outdoors Shop at the beginning of April, before a planning application is submitted later this year.
Graham Boase, the Council’s Corporate Director for the Economy and Public Realm, said: “We see the Queen’s Buildings as key in the regeneration of Rhyl. This site will be pivotal in linking the regeneration on the waterfront to the town centre and providing a fantastic offer in its own right. This project can transform the town centre.
“After 12 months of working with businesses, residents and visitors to Rhyl the feedback was that the town centre needed a vibrant market space to draw people into the town centre and increase footfall. This will help support and grow businesses and our vision sees local, independent traders as central to this, creating jobs and opportunities locally.
“Parts of the buildings are in very poor condition and whilst we will try and retain as much of the original architecture as possible, there will inevitably be areas that will need to be demolished.”
The project is being funded by the Council, the Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund.
Ion Developments is the Council’s development partner for the 97,000 sq ft site.
The site will remain open in the coming months with current occupiers continuing to trade.
The Council recently opened the £15million SC2 attraction and other investment includes the 1891 restaurant and remodelling of the Pavilion Theatre, while private sector investment encouraged by the Council has seen the opening of two new hotels.
The Council and the previous owners have found no remaining sections of the former Little Venice attraction despite extensive work being carried out on the building over a number of years. As the project develops there will be further excavation work taking place on the site.
A pre-planning consultation will be launched later this summer offering residents and businesses the chance to have their say on the more detailed plans as part of the ongoing project consultation.
Sites are now open! Ruthin Gaol and Nantclwyd Y Dre
Ruthin Gaol and Nantclwyd Y Dre are now open for general visits until the end of September! Both sites are still open for pre-booked group tours, all year round (see ‘Plan Your Visit’ below for more details).
What’s new for 2019?
Our brand new state of the art Audio Guide system is now fully in place at both Plas Newydd and Ruthin Gaol.
With amazing voiceover work provided entirely by local people, these new tours will add a brand new layer of interactivity to the sites. The new system is easy to use, lightweight, and has been updated with brand new information about the history of these amazing places. There is also an all new interactive digital Children’s Tour to encourage younger audiences to explore and learn whilst having fun.
Both the regular and children’s tour are available in English and Welsh and there are also tours available in German and French, with more languages coming in the future.
Don’t fancy an audio guide? We also offer a free guide book in with the admission price or you can book ahead for a private tour with one of our excellent bi-lingual guides (fees apply) – great for a group of friends or a special occasion.
What’s on soon at Nantclwyd Y Dre and Ruthin Gaol:
Saturday, 25th May & Saturday 17th Aug 2019 at Nantclwyd Y Dre – Beastly bug hunt!
Come on a guided nature hunt around the historic Lord’s Garden to identify and learn about the fascinating bugs that live here. Suitable for all ages, children must be accompanied by an adult.
11am to 12pm.
Included in admission price
Thurs 30th May 2019 at Ruthin Gaol – Transported
Travel back to Victorian times and find out what it was like to be ‘transported’ to Australia as a criminal! Hear about the stories of the convicts sent from Ruthin Gaol and how they made their life in the new world.
10.30am to 12.30pm and 1pm to 3.30pm
Included in admission cost
Sat 8th June 2019 - Nature Day at Nantclwyd Y Dre
Looking for a great day out? From birds to bugs and bats, woodland and wildflower meadow - meet the people and organisations who care for our local wildlife and enjoy come a day packed full of activities and fun for all the family!
10am to 5pm
There are more events later this year so keep an eye on our websites and social media pages!
Plan Your Visit
Heritage site opening times/days vary so please visit www.denbighshire.gov.uk/heritage for individual details. Ruthin Gaol is fully accessible with lifts for wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and prams/pushchairs. Nantclwyd Y Dre is accessible to the ground floor, with interactive visual displays of upper floors. You can visit on any of the advertised opening days without booking, or book in advance for a private group tour, in English or Welsh, led by one of our fantastic guides. Please call 01824 706868 for more details.
Council tax guide goes live
‘Your Money’, our definitive guide to all things relating to council tax has now gone live online.
The Council recently set its budget for the 2019/120 financial year. In terms of council tax, this means an increase of 6.35% for Denbighshire residents (this takes into account the increase in the county council element, as well as the town/city/community council and the Police and Crime Commissioner’s precepts).
Every year, the Council produces a booklet that explains all the facts and figures behind the council tax settlement, how that money is spent and details on how to pay your council tax bills.
It gives information on business rates, small business relief discounts and what kind of support is available if residents struggle to pay their council tax.
The booklet can be found on our website.
Survey launched for adult carers in Denbighshire
A survey has been launched to help improve support for unpaid adult carers in Denbighshire.
One of the Council's priorities is to work with people and communities to build independence and resilience and part of this is help supporting carers.
We want to be able to improve the support we offer to carers in Denbighshire and we need your help to do that.
People who take on a caring role for their family and friends play a very important part in helping individuals to remain in their own homes for longer. We want to ensure everyone who carry out caring roles have access to high quality information, advice and assistance to promote their own personal wellbeing outcomes as well as ensuring we have clear processes and clear pathways to identify carers in need of support.
We also want to support all carers to reach their educational goals, and to continue their educational development if they wish, as well as providing access to suitable and inclusive leisure opportunities.
Across Wales 370,000 people are carers, supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or seriously ill with 11,600 of those in Denbighshire.
You can take part in the survey if you are an adult who provides regular unpaid help and support for a relative, partner or friend who is frail, or disabled, has physical or mental health issues, or substance misuse problems.
A previous survey for carers under the age of 18 has already been conducted.
The survey is available on our website.
Cleaning up the streets of Rhyl
A number of organisations teamed up in Rhyl recently as part of efforts to clean up the town’s streets.
An initiative, led by ClwydAlyn Housing and supported by the Council, Keep Wales Tidy and the local community targeted the Edward Henry Street area of Rhyl. The aim was to tackle problems with litter, environmental crime, fly-tipping and to educate the public about the need to dispose of their rubbish in the proper way.
A number of skips were filled during the event.
Laura Collins, Housing Officer with ClwydAlyn, who co-ordinated the initiative, said: “We have been doing a litter pick in the area, speaking with tenants and providing information on issues such as recycling. We have also cleared some rubbish from their homes and cleared their yards. It has been a case of knocking on doors and informing people what’s going on. We had a positive response with a number of residents getting involved in the actual clear up.
“It’s brilliant to see the residents taking a pride in their local area and supporting this initiative to make Rhyl a great place to live.”
Emlyn Jones, Denbighshire’s Head of Planning and Public Protection, said: “Extensive work has already gone on in West Rhyl to clean up the streets and those efforts are paying dividends. Streets are cleaner than ever before and we are seeing a reduction in the amount of fly-tipping an rubbish being dumped on the street, and in particular in alleyways.
“There’s a lot less litter on the streets, people have been recycling more and they have been putting out waste on appropriate days. The next stage is to try and engage with residents – we need their help to improve the streets further and to try and prevent fly-tipping from occurring.
“We also want residents to inform the Council if they know who is responsible for dumping rubbish and fly-tipping when it happens”.
Shane Hughes, a Project Officer with Keep Wales Tidy was involved in the clear-up. He said: “We like to work in partnership with other organisations. It’s a good thing to do, working with the community, ClwydAlyn and the Council in a multi-partner approach to littering and it’s one of the best ways of approaching a problem like this when you get a number of agencies involved”.
Urdd: Preparing to welcome Wales to Denbighshire
The buzz and excitement around the Urdd National Eisteddfod’s return to the county in 2020 continues and at the Council we are getting ourselves ready to welcome the rest of Wales to our beautiful county.
The Council will have a stand at the Urdd Eisteddfod taking place in Cardiff Bay this Whitsun holiday. We will promoting places in the county to stay, as well as places to visit and things to do. We hope that people visiting the eisteddfod in the capital will think about returning to Denbighshire next year and getting their accommodation sorted as quickly as possible.
In May 2020, over 120,000 people are expected to visit the Eisteddfod for competitions and days out and we are preparing to provide a great welcome. Commmunities across Denbighshire have already collected thousands of pounds towards the cost of running the event, with hundreds of fund-raising events of all sorts being held across the county.
After the Cardiff Bay Eisteddfod, our focus will be on the proclamation ceremony which will take place in Prestatyn in October.
For further information about the Urdd, please visit their website.
Dewis Cymru is the place to go if you want information or advice about your well-being – or want to know how you can help somebody else.
When we talk about your well-being, we don’t just mean your health. We mean things like where you live, how safe and secure you feel, getting out and about, and keeping in touch with family and friends.
No two people are the same and well-being means different things to different people.
We’ve got information that can help you think about what matters to you, and we’ve also got information about people and services in your area that can help you with the things that matter to you.
If you want to know more about how to use Dewis Cymru to help you work out what matters to you, click here.
How to use DEWIS Cymru
If you’ve got a service that helps people with their well-being, you can add your details to Dewis Cymru, so that the people who you want to help and support can find you more easily. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, or whether you’re volunteers - if you help people with their well-being, Dewis Cymru wants to know about you and about what you do, so that we can put people in touch with you!
If you want to add details of your service to Dewis Cymru, click here.
Have you considered e-billing?
Did you know that you can arrange to receive your bills through e-mail instead of having a paper version posted out. This is an effective and efficient way of issuing bills and also helps us to reduce spending on postage and packing. Once registered, you will then receive any annual, closing and adjustment council tax bills to your email address.
You'll need to log in or register your account to receive bills and notifications through your email.
Here's Rhian Hughes to tell you a bit more about it:
For more information, please visit our website.
Council to hold events for Carers Week 2019
Carers Week will be taking place between 10-16 June with a number of events being held.
Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK and this year’s theme is Getting Carers Connected in their Communities.
The Council has been working in partnership with NEWCIS and local carers to develop a new information product for carers on sources of support and local services.
A launch event is being planned to coincide with Carers Week, with more details to be announced, while third sector organisations will also be holding events across the county.
As part of its Corporate Plan, the Council has committed to support carers by improving the services that exist and ensuring young, parent and adult carers are aware of the services and support available to them.
Details of the Council’s events will be announced soon and more information on Carers Week can be found at www.carersweek.org/about-us/getting-carers-connected
Have your say!
The European Parliament Election Day is Thursday, 23 May.
Residents have until Tuesday, 7 May to register to vote if they are not already on the Electoral Register. The closing date to apply for a postal vote is Wednesday, 8 May (5.00 p.m.) and for proxy votes Wednesday, 15 May (5.00 p.m.)
Judith Greenhalgh, Chief Executive of Denbighshire County Council, said: “It is important that people have the opportunity to take part in this election and do not miss out because they are un-registered. Our experienced Electoral Services Team is available to provide advice and information to voters.
“People should not assume that they are able to vote just because just because they are registered for other things such as Council Tax. If in doubt, residents should contact the Electoral Services Team to check whether they are registered to vote.”
Registering to vote only takes a few minutes: register online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or telephone 01824 706000.
A full list of candidates is available on the Wales Regional Returning Officer’s website
Film showcasing Denbighshire’s tourism hotspots
A brand new film promoting key tourism experiences and attractions in Denbighshire has been launched to coincide with Visit Wales’ Year of Discovery.
The film features key destinations including the brand new SC2 in Rhyl, Barkby Beach Prestatyn, Denbigh Castle, St Asaph Cathedral, Nantclwyd y Dre, Ruthin Gaol, Ruthin Craft Centre, Dinas Brân, Llangollen Railway, Plas Newydd and Valle Crucis Abbey as well as a variety of experiences like kite surfing in Rhyl, cycling on the Horseshoe Pass, paragliding in Llangollen, mountain biking in One Planet Adventure and stand up paddle boarding on the River Dee.
The film was launched at the recent Tourism Forum, where nearly 100 people gathered to hear from guest speakers including Urdd Gobaith Cymru and Development Bank of Wales. The Forum is held twice a year and has proven to be a huge success for tourism businesses to learn from each other and develop new partnerships.
The film really showcases the beauty of Denbighshire from Llangollen and the Dee Valley in the south to the northern coastal towns of Prestatyn and Rhyl. With the start of the main tourism season upon us and the recent opening of SC2 in Rhyl, we urge both visitors and local people to re-discover our part of North Wales.
North Wales is fast becoming the renowned destination for being the capital of adventure and this film really highlights the varied and accessible experiences available in the county for all ages and interests.
The film received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government. It forms part of the Denbighshire Tourism Ambassador project which will be launched shortly. It aims to improve the visitor experience by providing online training modules about Denbighshire’s tourism offer.
To view the film, please visit North East Wales Facebook or YouTube Channel.
Ruthin is Denbighshire’s first coach-friendly town
Ruthin has been declared Denbighshire’s first coach-friendly town.
The town has been awarded Coach Friendly Town status by the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT). Ruthin joins the few select places that have also achieved this status in Wales – namely Betws-y-Coed, Conwy, Llandudno and Cardiff.
Heather Williams, Ruthin town councillor and Chairman of the working group set up to achieve this status said “A couple of years ago, the Council's Tourism Marketing and Events team invited representatives of Denbighshire town/city councils to go on a learning journey to Betws-y-Coed. Whilst there, we had discussions with the Destination Manager of Conwy County Borough Council about how Conwy county had achieved coach friendly status for three towns.”
“Following this visit, Ruthin Town Council set up a working group to assess how Ruthin could meet the criteria needed to meet coach friendly status. We are now really pleased to be awarded this prestigious title. We hope that this new status will enable the town to attract more coach tours, and therefore more visitors, to this historic and attractive town. Ruthin has so much to offer, such as the internationally renowned Craft Centre, the fascinating Gaol and historic timber-framed Nantclwyd y Dre.”
The criteria to achieve coach friendly status includes clear signage for visiting coaches, adequate coach parking provision, facilities for groups and a website providing information for coach groups. Ruthin Town Council added additional information to its website to give practical information and details of attractions and trails/tours for coach companies/group organisers. Further information can be found on the website page www.visitruthin.wales/about-ruthin
It is hoped that the award for Ruthin will encourage other places in Denbighshire to work on achieving coach friendly status, in order to encourage even more visitors to the county.
Tourism Strategy for Wales: join in the conversation!
In 2020, the Tourism Strategy for Wales will be coming to an end, and Visit Wales are starting to think about its successor. Before developing future priorities for tourism and the wider visitor economy in Wales, Visit Wales want to know what you think, so they have launched a wider conversation about tourism in Wales.
This conversation has started with ten key questions which identifies some of the big future challenges for Wales. They are interested in your views on these questions … whether you are a visitor, part of the tourism industry or anyone who lives in Wales.
You can give your feedback here or you can e-mail email@example.com.
The deadline for responses is 31 May 2019.
Latest Events: What's On?
Take a look at the latest ‘What’s On’ booklet for the latest events happening across Denbighshire until the end of May.
Free printed copies of the June – September 2019 edition will be available soon in local libraries, tourist information centres and local businesses.
Alternatively, take a look online on the North East Wales website.
Keep posted on tourism news!
Would you like to hear about the latest tourism news in Denbighshire & North East Wales?
If so, it’s easy and simple to sign up >>> www.denbighshire.gov.uk/business-sign-up-for-tourism
Looking for new places to visit this year?
Need a bit of inspiration?
For ideas of things to do and places to visit in our stunning corner of North Wales, take a look at www.northeastwales.wales
Christ the Word Catholic School launches new school uniform
The new uniform for the £23million 3-16 faith school in Rhyl has been launched.
Christ the Word Catholic School will open in September and the uniform will have common themes for all pupils, with those in Year 7 and above wearing a blazer to recognise their progression to the upper school.
The school, which will cater for 420 full time pupils aged 3-11 and 500 pupils aged 11-16, is funded in partnership by the Council and the Welsh Government through its 21st Century Schools Programme.
Gill Greenland, Chair of Governors for the school, said: “We were keen to consult widely on ideas for the new uniform.
“We were delighted with the large response from parents to the questionnaire sent out and nearly 250 replies were received.
“We also had a great response from pupils at both schools where we discussed the options with the school councils.”
The Governors met with local suppliers to discuss how the ideas from the pupils could be developed before they finally approved the new uniform.
Mrs Greenland added: “The uniform reflects our new school logo and the colours were inspired by designs submitted by current Ysgol Mair and Blessed Edward Jones pupils. We feel confident we have developed a uniform that reflects our identity.”
The Governors are also looking into other funding possibilities to assist families with the cost.
It is great to see progress at Christ the Word Catholic School reach yet another milestone with the launch of the school uniform. The fact that current pupils have been directly involved shows the kind of atmosphere that is being created at the school. Supporting young people is a priority for the Council under our Corporate Plan and so far more than £90 million has been invested in Denbighshire’s schools which has seen more than 3,500 pupils benefit from improved facilities.
New era for Ysgol Carreg Emlyn
A new era will commence shortly for one of Denbighshire’s newest primary schools Ysgol Carreg Emlyn. The school which was formed in 2014 will be moving into a new school building in Clocaenog at the start of June thanks to investment from Denbighshire and the Welsh Government as part of the 21st Century Schools Programme.
Ysgol Carreg Emlyn was created in 2014 following the amalgamation of the former Ysgol Clocaenog and Ysgol Cyffylliog. Since September 2014 the new school operated from their existing sites in the two villages in advance of moving to a single site.
The new site will include 4 new classrooms, additional learning areas, hall, community room, external play areas, new vehicle access and car parking with a drop-off area.
With all the funding and planning approvals in place May 2018 saw the start of the construction of the new school building just over a 100 metres away from the existing site in Clocaenog. Just under 12 months later the building will be handed over from Wynne Construction. During May the preparations for the move will take place with opportunities for new staff to familiarise themselves with the building before the pupils start the last half term in their new home.
For the pupils their new home will see a transformation in their learning environment. As they prepare to say goodbye to their old schools they will be given the first opportunity to see their new home in a special visit at the start of May. The main contractor Wynne Construction has also arranged a community event to enable residents to see the finished school in advance of the school taking up residence.
The completion of this project is a significant moment for the Ysgol Carreg Emlyn community. This project demonstrates the commitment of the Council to investment in Welsh Medium education. The school community have demonstrated their support in this project to transform education in this rural area and this will be a fantastic facility for the young children.
The completion of the new Ysgol Carreg Emlyn building will be the 6th project completed by Denbighshire as part of the 21st Century Schools Programme. The programme has seen significant investment in schools in Cynwyd, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Ruthin and St Asaph together with ongoing projects for Christ the Word Catholic School in Rhyl and Ysgol Llanfair.
Record-breaking March for Business for Denbighshire
Denbighshire’s business community has taken part in a record-breaking month.
The Council’s fourth March for Business month saw more than 530 attendees take part in 26 varied events, the highest figures so far.
Working with partner support providers, the Council’s business month offered a range of training events including updating businesses on the £1bn North Wales Growth Deal, a food event to showcase local produce and a summit on town centres with industry experts.
We'd like to thank all the businesses, support providers and experts who have taken part in our biggest ever business month.
The focus of March for Business was decided after we asked businesses what support they wanted. As a Council we listen to our business community and we are here to support entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.
The feedback from March for Business has been really positive with businesses telling us the support provided will help them moving forward. With a difficult trading environment facing High Street retailers and uncertainty around Brexit, it is vital we continue to provide support to Denbighshire businesses so they can carry on growing the economy and creating jobs county-wide.
Other events included a session for businesses to make the most of the Urdd Eisteddford when it is held in Denbigh in 2020, helping businesses with taxation as well as social media training.
Organisations who worked with the Council included Business Wales, the Federation of Small Businesses, the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce and the Development Bank of Wales.
Fiona Evans from Denbigh’s Snow in Summer, said: “March for Business is a great opportunity for businesses to attend various free events and workshops throughout to help benefit their business.
“The social media workshops I have attended have been really beneficial for promoting the shop such as the Instagram workshop, and also the Urdd event.
“I would recommend March for Business, it’s a good opportunity to network with other local businesses.”
March for Business is part of the Council’s work on developing the local economy to make sure the county’s communities are resilient and residents have access to good and services.
Hannah James, who owns Rhyl’s Clwyd Chambers, said: “There were great events at March for Business. Marketing advice is invaluable to small businesses and the events gives small businesses access to quality advice at an open and applicable level.
“I would recommend businesses take advantage of the training and support provided by the Council.”
Blas Lleol - Meet the Producer showcases local food producers
More than 100 buyers from hospitality businesses of all sizes attended a showcase of local produce.
The third Blas Lleol - Meet the Producer event, organised by the Llangollen & Dee Valley Good Grub Club and the Clwydian Range Food & Drink group in collaboration with the Council’s Economic Development team, was held at Ruthin Castle Hotel as part of Denbighshire’s March for Business month.
'Blas Lleol - Meet the Producer' gave restaurants, pubs, cafes and food retail businesses from across North Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire the chance to sample food and drink produced by Flintshire, Denbighshire and Wrexham businesses.
This year 24 food and drink producers hosted stalls showing off traditional baked goods and gluten-free variations, meat products, a range of vegan options, locally produced ciders, beers, gins and liqueurs, ice-cream and more.
Business support organisations including Business Wales, Development Bank of Wales and Welsh for Business hosted stands at the event, which was financially supported by both Flintshire and Denbighshire County Councils, providing businesses with the opportunity to discuss ideas for growth, development or diversification.
Robert Dowell-Brown, head chef at Nant Y Felin Restaurant, and demonstration chef for the event, kept buyers mouths watering throughout showing off locally sourced ideas for breakfast, lunch and canapes.
Lesley Haythorne, from Pant Y Foel Gin, said: “Of the 14 potential customers I spoke with at the event, we have already had two sales. So two new customers already and we are now following up others we met on the day.”
Another producer, Martin Godfrey from Hafod Brewing Company from Mold, said: “It was potentially a very productive event for us, great meeting new and old customers and being able to show off our current range face to face.”
Robyn Lovelock, from Llangollen & Dee Valley Good Grub Club, said: “It was a fantastic event that showed off the range and quality of products we have in our region. Whether buyers were looking for large, long-term contracts or just to replace a few key products with a locally-sourced alternative, we’ve been able to get them talking and doing business with the producers themselves – helping keep more money in our local economy.”
Jane Clough, from the Clwydian Range Group said: “There was a buzz throughout the whole event of business being done, hopefully laying the groundwork for another great year of food and hospitality in the region. Hospitality businesses are increasingly seeing the benefit using local produce as both visitors and locals are looking for a taste of the area and are keen to know the provenance of their food & drink.”
The two organising groups are hoping to build on the event for next year, with even more producers and a new location. They are also part of the team responsible for delivering Taste North East Wales, a new month-long celebration of local food and drink to be launched in October 2019. See social media for more details.
Community Led Businesses and Community Share Offers: What are the Options?
Denbighshire County Council and DVSC would like to invite you to the following event
Thursday 16th May 2019 9.30am – 2pm
Denbigh Town Hall, Crown Lane, Denbigh LL16 3TB
Community led business and community share offers can transform communities, enabling local people to tackle key challenges faced in their area e.g. isolation and lack of services. They are controlled by members of the community and trade primarily for community benefit.
This event will bring together expert guidance from the Wales Co-operative Centre and shared learning from local examples of good practice to provide an overview of the different options available to consider.
We will also be hosting an information fair at the event where a number of organisations will be on hand to chat to you about your ideas and the support they can offer including: DVSC, Wales Co-operative Centre, Pub is the Hub, Plunkett Foundation, Social Firms Wales, and Cadwyn Clwyd.
Light Refreshments provided.
This event is aimed at Members of Town, City and Community Councils, County Councillors and members of voluntary groups who are interested in exploring community-led businesses.
If you are not a member of a voluntary group but are a Denbighshire resident interested in attending, please get in touch.
Please confirm your attendance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note tickets for this event are limited, register your interest as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Drewyn the giant comes to life in Corwen
On Saturday the 23rd of March the local community and visitors to Corwen came together to take part in Waking Corwen’s Giant.
Celebrating Visit Wales’ ‘Year of Discovery’ it was an opportunity to experience the myths and legends of the area and the story of Drewyn the giant. Over 200 people were in Corwen to assist in waking the giant and witnessing the creation of a land art through a series of explosions.
Visitors were led up to Pen-y-Pigyn view point ready for the spectacular event, and on route discovering giant objects which Drewyn had dropped along the way.
Once at the view point it was the responsibility of the crowd to wake Drewyn by making as much noise as possible with church bells, whistles and singing. And once Drewyn was awake visitors witnessed a series of explosions across the landscape creating the concept and image of giant footsteps, followed by a finale of Drewyn’s giant outline appearing in Dôl Corwenna at the centre of Corwen as he lay back to rest.
Waking Corwen’s Giant is led by the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB in partnership with the local community and has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
The concept behind Waking Corwen’s Giant was developed and designed by artist Gordon Rogers of Structure and Agency alongside engineer John Kettles. ‘Drewyn appeared with the same energies that shape the landscape and the same awe that makes the memories that turn into legends. Luckily for the people of Corwen he’s a much kinder soul than many of the neighbouring giants that inhabited the Dee Valley. Also, unlike many of his neighbours he hasn’t met a sticky end at the sword of a saint or a king. In waking he’s started the next chapter in his story and the objects he has dropped might give some clues as to what the future holds.’
Ceri Lloyd, AONB Sustainable Development Officer said ‘Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB have worked with the community to develop the concept of Drewyn and in particular this event, and it was great to see so many people out in Corwen to experience this unique art work being created. Now that Drewyn has appeared on Dôl Corwenna at the centre of Corwen it will continue to be part of the landscape and change with the seasons and we encourage visitors to head up to Pen-y-Pigyn to experience the view and take in the legendry giant artwork.”
The artwork will be planted with different wild flowers, changing as we head through the seasons. Visitors are encourage to head to Pen-y-Pigyn to view the artwork where they’ll also be able to discover the giant objects left by Drewyn on the walk. For more information on how to get there head to the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB website.
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
Out and About
You and a view. Sometimes that’s all you need from a day in the great outdoors.
A spontaneous walk across our windswept heather moorland or through our river valleys can help you unwind, give you a tremendous sense of tranquility and put you back in touch with the real you.
But sometimes you might like something a little more organised. You might be craving fun and company. And you might even want to bring the kids along.
That’s why every year we produce an events programme called “Out and About”. It’s crammed with family events, guided walks and practical projects. And they won’t cost you a penny.
So if you want to see a hillfort, pick a bilberry, watch a meteorite, detect a bat or hunt some bugs, download the booklet below.
There’s an event for everyone in there.
To book a place or to find out more, call us on 01352 810614 or email email@example.com
Take the Lead and be responsible dog owners in the Denbighshire countryside
The Council and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have joined forces to launch this year’s campaign, encouraging people to keep their dogs on leads in the county’s open countryside.
The Take the Lead campaign is now in its third year and is being launched ahead of the start of the holiday season this Easter. The campaign is targeting local residents and visitors to the countryside and wants to build on the success of previous years’ initiative.
The campaign includes production of videos that will be shared on social media, features in the local media and online and direct engagement with people visiting the county’s scenic countryside.
We were delighted by the success of last year’s campaign and it seemed that people were listening to the message. We saw far more people acting responsibly and taking their dogs on leads in the countryside – and we would like to thank them for their efforts.
However this is a kind of message that needs to be repeated time and time again to gain its maximum impact, so we will be sharing our campaign messages with locals and visitors and encourage the small minority who flout the law to take action.
We have seen some incidents where sheep have been injured or killed as a result of attacks from dogs off their leads. We have spoken to farmers who have lost sheep or have had their animals attacked. This really can be avoided by working together with dog owners, sending home the message that dogs should be kept on leads. We can really make a difference.
We appreciate why people would want to go on walks in our scenic countryside in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Many walkers bring dogs with them and whilst we want that to continue, all we are asking is that people respect the Countryside Code.
There are plenty of warning signs and information about taking dogs on leads and we will be out and about over the coming months talking to owners and sharing our message to as wide an audience as possible.
Our Picturesque Landcape
This is the beautiful cake of Castell Dinas Bran which was made for the official launch of the Our Picturesque Landscape project in the Spring Fair at Plas Newydd on Saturday 13th April 2019.
New career for nature lover Liam
A nature lover who decided he wanted to ‘make a difference’ has landed a job helping to shape the future of a county’s wildlife thanks to his university studies.
Liam Blazey, 36, decided to change his career after realising the jobs he was interested in doing asked for skills he didn’t yet have.
Now, after four years’ study at Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Northop campus studying Wildlife and Plant Biology, he has secured a role with the Council as a biodiversity officer – and is responsible for protecting and developing a wide range of species right across the county’s vast number of habitats.
He said: “Maybe because I’m slightly older than some students, and I’ve had jobs I haven’t enjoyed, a few years back I knew I wanted to make a change – I wanted to have a job where I felt like I was making a difference.
“Before I started at university, I knew I really wanted to work in the environment. I’d read job adverts and I didn’t have the skills I needed for the kinds of jobs I wanted – so I decided to start to build my CV. If I think back six years ago to now, I am a completely different person. Coming to university was the best thing I ever did – particularly Glyndwr and the Northop campus. You can’t find a campus like this anywhere else!”
While studying, Liam took a range of volunteering opportunities across North Wales which the university helped to put students in touch with - working on surveys for a range of organisations and clients. During that time, he helped to monitor and build up information about North Wales’ wildlife – experience which stood him good stead when it came to securing his current role with the council.
He added: “I had very supportive lecturers who knew a lot about their subjects and were keen to help, and I volunteered alongside knowledgeable conservationists and staff who were also very supportive. Put those two together and it really made a massive difference. I got the job just after I graduated from Glyndwr, last November. It is hard work – but I am very happy, it’s definitely been worth it.
“There is no such thing as a typical day. Over the winter, I am inside a lot more – during the summer the weather means it’s quite likely I’ll be out surveying species somewhere.
“Denbighshire’s Corporate Plan has a very progressive section on the environment which has identified five key species whose populations I have to monitor and protect in different parts of the county.
“They are the Sand Lizard, the Adder, Black Grouse, the Little Tern, and our bee populations – and I’m including all our pollinators in that! There are a number of other specialist species we have such as Dormice and Natterjack Toads which also require ongoing monitoring.
“I’m based in Loggerheads but you can find me anywhere in the county, from Gronant to Plas Newydd Gardens in Llangollen, or Llandegla all the way over to Coed y Morfa in Rhyl. I’m always looking for volunteers to come and help out at events so there’s lots of ways for people interested to get involved.”
Helping to educate people about the work being done in Denbighshire is a core part of Liam’s job – whether that is working alongside volunteers on-site, talking to schools about the county’s Bee Friendly campaign – or even returning to university to encourage others to follow in his footsteps.
He added: “It’s been interesting – I’ve already come back here to Glyndwr and given talks to let current students know about opportunities on some of the projects we’re working on in Denbighshire at the moment.
“The council is really positive when it comes to conservation – for instance, they are the first council to designate a roadside nature reserve for an animal and are only the third local authority in Wales to be awarded Bee Friendly Status. Until I got the job with them I didn’t know about everything that was going on – so now I want to tell everyone!”
Lecturer in Animal Science and Conservation at Wrexham Glyndwr University, Denise Yorke, said: “Helping students to build and develop new skills, to take those skills out into the community, and to apply them in real-life settings is at the core of what we do here at the university.
“When you combine that with some of the hundreds of opportunities we can help place students with on projects across the region studying and monitoring wildlife, it gives them a real chance to develop the skills they need for the career they want.
“Liam is the proof of that – we are delighted he has secured a crucial role boosting Denbighshire’s biodiversity, and it’s great to see his success.”
2019 marks the centenary of the bus service from Ruthin to Mold
2019 marks the centenary of the bus service from Ruthin to Mold. This was the first Crosville route into Denbighshire, write Peter Daniels and Ron Hughes.
Both Crosville Motor Services and Ruthin Borough Council had their sights on a bus service from Ruthin to Mold but for the intervention of the First World War. In 1918, the mayor was “strongly of the opinion that motor traction had come to stay”.
First Loggerheads (from 1908) and then Llanferres (1909) had benefited from a motor omnibus service from Mold. Both were suspended at the outbreak of war.
There were great celebrations when in July 1919 Crosville Motor Services began its Ruthin to Mold service. Initially, Crosville felt it would be seasonal. Its managing director stated, “We shall do our level best to provide a service right through” which, in fact, Crosville managed.
Initially, there were two trips from Ruthin at 1035 and 1600; and an additional third on Saturdays and Fair Days (the first Tuesday), at 2030, from outside the Castle Hotel. The journey time was 70 minutes and the single fare 2s/2d (11p).
Direct daily services from Ruthin to Birkenhead via Mold began in 1924. The single fare to Birkenhead was 7s/6d (38p). Meanwhile, from Mold, Crosville reached Llanarmon yn Iâl in 1928 and Eryrys in 1930. By 1929, most Mold - Ruthin journeys continued to Denbigh although, over the next 70 years, this extension was more off than on.
By the 1930s, vehicle technology had improved, with pneumatic rather than solid tyres. In the 1930s, buses were progressively converted from petrol to diesel fuel. The journey time between Ruthin and Mold reduced to 45 minutes.
In the 1930s, there were up to 13 departures each weekday between Ruthin and Mold. These were more than halved during the Second World War
In 1942, Crosville progressively began painting their vehicles green, a colour in one shade or another associated with Ruthin’s buses for over 55 years.
It was in 1949 that Crosville operated the first through Ruthin - Mold - Chester service. This was initially one return journey on Wednesdays and Saturdays only. Meanwhile, from 1951, Ruthin departures for Mold were back up to 13 a day.
The 1919 timetable is reproduced with permission of the Flintshire Record Office (ref FC/C/6/240)
Over the years, the terminus has moved. In 1937 it became Market Street. In 1957, it moved to the rail station. Back it went to its current location, Market Street, in 1965. It was also in 1965 that the first through Ruthin - Llanarmon - Mold journey operated. From 1970 onwards, most Ruthin to Mold services operated via Llanarmon.
Other than at school times, when double deckers were required, during the 1960s and early 1970s, the bus service progressively became driver-only. By 2007, double decks were withdrawn.
The 1970s and 1980s seemed to have round upon round of bus service cuts and fares increases, as the private car took the bus service’s passengers. It was in 1971 that both Denbighshire and Flintshire began financially supporting the service, as remains the case today.
In 1986, successor Crosville Wales took over what was now a tendered bus service. The direct Chester service was withdrawn but subsequently reintroduced, withdrawn, introduced and withdrawn again several times before being reintroduced from 2010
In June 1998, Crosville Wales lost the tender to GHA Coaches, who operated the service till 2016. Thereafter, Stagecoach took over till M & H Coaches, in March 2018. In 2018, M & H invested in the service, the first time all departures operated by brand new vehicles—other, of course, than in 1919!
The current 1/X1/2 service is operated by M & H Coaches of Trefnant.
Here is Managing Director Margaret Owen and Business Support Manager Ryan Owen, alongside one of the new Wrightbus Streetlites used on the service.
More on this will be available towards the end of May at http://www.1919.cymru/
With thanks to the Ruthin and District Civic Association for the article.
Dog fouling campaign in Denbighshire continues
The fight against dog fouling continues, with the Council warning it will take action against those who wilfully allow their dogs to foul in public without clearing up the mess.
Figures around the number of dog fouling incidents recorded by the Council since 2014 show that the highest number of incidents happen over the winter months, in December, January and February.
92 incidents were reported in January 2015; 72 in January 2017 and 83 in January 2018. The lowest number of incidents happen over the summer months.
Research work has shown that this is due to the fact that days are darker and people assume they can allow their dogs to foul in public under the cover of darkness.
The figures show a real trend and it seems the winter months seem to be the main time for dog fouling. We have seen plenty of evidence of dog fouling in dark areas where there are no street lights. Some individuals believe they can get away with not clearing up after their animals under the cloak of darkness. The only we way we can catch those responsible is by receiving information from the public. The majority of complaints that come in to the Council are about dog fouling and residents have told us they would like to see this issue tackled. They see it as anti-social and being a blight on the landscape, as well as being a risk to people’s health. We have been carrying out an enforcement and education campaign over recent years and that work continues. The majority of people clean up after their animals and we thank them for that. We are targeting these message at those who think it’s acceptable to leave their dog’s mess behind.
It’s not acceptable and those responsible could be issued with a fixed penalty notice or find themselves before the courts.
Working Denbighshire supports English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Working Denbighshire has begun an exciting new initiative to support people who don’t speak English or Welsh as a first language, to help them on their route to employment, cultural orientation, volunteering placements and to help them integrate in to their local community and reduce social isolation. The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses are being delivered in partnership with Adult Learning Wales.
The ESOL classes provide an informal, warm, friendly and fun learning setting. Two taster sessions were held in February to raise awareness and to meet the tutor. The course started on March 1st and is a free 12-week course, which promotes using the English language in a work setting,
The ESOL courses are delivered by Anna Gomes from Adult Learning Wales. Anna says: “I am thoroughly enjoying the experience of teaching these individuals. It is great to see how learning the English language is helping the participants and their families to integrate in the community and access the local job market. My lessons are conducted in a very friendly and non-threating environment.
"Many of the individuals- including Syrian refugees - have never been in education of any type. It has been a pleasure to support them with the basics, adapting to life in the UK for themselves and their children and in time, gain the capabilities to look for employment. So far, we have been working with nine participants, consisting of Polish, Turkish, Chinese and Syrian (Arabic) learners. Participants learn via spelling, learning the phonetic alphabet and singing the alphabet, all within the context of applying for employment.
"I use mock-situations and role play scenarios with the aim of them producing a CV by the end of the course. Other new skills include general health and safety at work processes, understanding of speed limits, warning signage (including fire exits, no smoking etc.). One of the biggest long term goals is for these people to be able to become financially independent."
For more information and to register for future ESOL courses please contact Working Denbighshire on 01745 331438, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or more information can be found at Rhyl Library.
Woodland skills course for Working Denbighshire participants
A number of Working Denbighshire participants recently attended a bespoke training course delivered at the Woodland Skills Centre in Bodfari.
The Council's Working Denbighshire project provides one-to-one support to individuals, working with them to achieve their personal goals using a variety of activities.
The Woodland Skills Centre is based in the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and those attending had a chance to build self-confidence, self-esteem, the ability to work individually and in a group alongside learning new skills.
All participants completed a Level 3 Emergency First Aid course and gained certificates for Coppice Crafts and Green Woodwork.
The Council is committed to developing and building resilient communities across the most deprived areas, focusing on tackling poverty by providing support that helps people into work, volunteering and education, removing barriers into employment.
We'd like to congratulate all those who took part in the course. The group very quickly developed a rapport, forming a supportive group who interacted and communicated well, helping each other and working as a team. They have gained new skills and experiences and grown in confidence, increased self-esteem and displayed an overall improvement in well-being.
Participants from Rhyl and Denbigh along with Working Denbighshire staff