New Leader and Deputy elected in Denbighshire
The Council has elected a new Leader and Deputy for the authority.
Councillor Jason McLellan (Labour – Prestatyn North) is the new Leader and a co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru has been negotiated to form a ruling partnership.
A former Prestatyn High School pupil, Jason McLellan has lived in Prestatyn most of his life. He qualified in Law from the University of Liverpool before working as a legal aid lawyer across North Wales for many years. He then worked for a Member of Parliament and two Members of the Senedd and is a former Denbighshire councillor, having served one term.
Councillor McLellan said "I believe that Labour and Plaid Cymru have a mandate from the electorate to form a cabinet and deliver for the people of Denbighshire. I am looking forward to working with Plaid and we have so much in common in terms of policies around economic regeneration, addressing housing issues and promoting the Welsh language and culture."
Meanwhile, Councillor Gill German (Labour- Prestatyn North) has been elected Deputy Leader.
Councillor German is also from Prestatyn and a former pupil in the town. She worked as a primary school teacher for over 25 years, with the majority of those years at Ysgol Penmorfa.
One of her biggest wishes is to work on creating greater equality in education.
New Cabinet announced for Denbighshire
The Council has announced a new Cabinet for the authority.
The new Cabinet is as follows:
- Councillor Jason McLellan, Leader and Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation
- Councillor Gill German, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Education, Children and Families
- Councillor Gwyneth Ellis, Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets
- Councillor Elen Heaton, Lead Member for Health and Social Care
- Councillor Julie Matthews, Lead Member for Corporate Strategy, Policy and Equalities
- Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport
- Councillor Win-Mullen James, Lead Member for Local Development and Planning
- Councillor Rhys Thomas, Lead Member for Housing and Communities
- Councillor Emrys Wynne, Lead Member for Welsh Language, Culture and Heritage
Councillor Jason McLellan, Leader and Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation, said: “Following my election as leader I am pleased to announce my Cabinet. The authority faces a number of challenges ahead. My priorities are reflected in the strong team I have selected from both the Labour group and in working with Plaid Cymru.”
Councillor Rhys Thomas, Plaid Cymru group leader and Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “This will be a way of implementing Plaid Cymru policies on matters of vital importance to the residents of Denbighshire.
"Such is the common ground between our two groups that we can now drive forward the policies that will deliver on matters like financial priorities, housing and supporting all our Welsh communities whether rural or urban.”
A link to the list of meeting dates plus lot of other information can be found on our website.
New Chair and Vice Chair for Denbighshire
The Council has elected a new Chair and Vice Chair for 2022/ 2023
At a meeting in Ruthin, the Council elected Councillor Arwel Roberts (Rhuddlan) as the Chair for the next year.
Meanwhile, Councillor Peter Prendergast (Rhyl South West) has been elected Vice Chair of the authority.
During the meeting, former Chairman, Councillor Alan James was thanked for his two years in office as Chair. He had been a Chair for two years after the Council decided to extend his Chair for an additional year due to Covid. Amongst his fund-raising achievements was a sponsored bike ride from John O’Groats to Lands End over 12 days, which managed to raise over £4,000 towards Macmillan.
Work has started on Rhyl’s new youth centre
The Council has appointed a contractor to carry out the full refurbishment of the former East Parade Café to create a modern youth centre in Rhyl.
The modern youth centre will create a comfortable environment for young people to develop skills and access tailored support through activities and training.
Contactors Adever who has worked with the council on previous projects will begin to carry out refurbishment works to the building which are expected to take six weeks to complete with a view to open in September 2022.
Plans for the work include creating a chill out zone, games area, training, a multi station kitchen for independent living skills and training as well as a bespoke therapeutic space.
A consultation group made up of young Rhyl residents have been attending meetings at the property to input their ideas and choose décor for the centre.
The Youth Service is working with a variety of partners and departments to put in place support for young people with their social, emotional and education needs including Welsh language provision.
Councillor Gill German, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Education, Children and Families said: “I am pleased that works to create a modern youth centre in Rhyl are progressing.
“The centre aims to act as an opportunity hub to assist our young residents overcome a variety of barriers and allow them to achieve their potential.
“This is another project that plays a part in the Council’s wider Rhyl Regeneration Project. I am looking forward to continue watching it progress.”
To find out more about the Council's Rhyl Regeneration programme visit our website.
Volunteers give support to Gronant Tern colony
Volunteers are helping a Denbighshire bird colony thrive on the coast.
The group of Little Terns found at Gronant beach near Prestatyn is the largest breeding colony found in Wales.
This beach site is internationally known as it contributes to over 10 per of the entire UK breeding population as well as supplementing other colonies.
The local colony has been getting a helping hand of support from a volunteer group: the North Wales Little Tern Group. They have helped Denbighshire Countryside service staff put up four kilometres of fencing at the beach to create pens for the birds to safely nest in.
Little Terns at the site have also been seen in greater numbers over the spring with a recent count recording over 200 adult birds, with nests now confirmed at the site.
Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We are really grateful to the volunteers for their work in helping us protect this important colony of Little Terns at Gronant to give them a thriving future at the site.
“If you do wish to see the colony, we encourage people to either come to the viewing platform or the visitor centre with a pair of binoculars to reduce any disturbance to the nesting birds.“
If anyone is interested in volunteering to support the Little Terns colony, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
This project is funded by the Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme.
Photo credit: Michael Steciuk
Community Ownership Fund
Alongside the UK Community Renewal Fund and Levelling Up Fund, UK Government have launched the Community Ownership Fund.
The fund is for voluntary and community organisations to bid for match funding to support the purchase and/or renovation costs of community assets and amenities. Proposals will need to prove the value of the asset to local people and demonstrate that the asset can be run sustainably. Unfortunately, town, city and community councils are currently not eligible to apply.
Up to £250,000 match funded capital will be available for all eligible types of assets. In exceptional cases, bidders will be able to make the case for up to £1 million match funding for assets related to sports facilities.
The Community Ownership Fund launched the updated prospectus on 27 May 2022 with the first bidding window commencing 10 June 2022 and closing on the 19th August. There will be two more bidding windows before March 2023. Exact dates will be announced in due course.
Further detail about the fund can be found online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-ownership-fund-prospectus
If you would like support to develop a community project or idea please get in touch with our Community Development Team via email: email@example.com.
Prestatyn High School honoured for ground-breaking campaign
The Council has congratulated four Year 11 pupils from Prestatyn High School for their award winning campaign around anti-discrimination.
The pupils were recognised at the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Awards ceremony, hosted on Thursday 16 June and were honoured for their ‘ Discrimination. It stops with me’ campaign.
The school has started a new curriculum called Social Responsibility in response to the need for more education around this area and addressing matters proactively, the school has amended its procedures for dealing with discrimination, improved monitoring of discrimination and has held a festival of culture and diversity this year. The students have met weekly with a youth worker and have shaped the work that is being done.
Neil Foley, Headteacher of Prestatyn High School, said: “The young people came up with the campaign's advertising materials, they have presented to pupils lower down the school to get their interest in the campaign, they have visited primary schools to educate younger children around discrimination and promote the high school's campaign. It has been through their work with other pupils in the lower school that the idea of the festival grew.
“They have conducted surveys with pupils and with staff and have also presented to school governors and as a result, the governors have half termly feedback on the progress of the campaign.
“These pupils really are incredible. They are dedicated and motivated to impact change. Working with these amazing young people is an absolute privilege in the face of what's been the hardest couple of years in education for pupils and staff, these pupils are striving to make our community a better place whilst at the same time as preparing for their GCSEs. We can't stress enough how brilliant these young people really are. They deserve recognition for their work. Their school is so proud of them and their community should know what truly inspirational young people they are.
Councillor Gill German, Cabinet Lead Member for Education and Children’s Services, said: “This is a fantastic achievement. I have been really impressed with this initiative right from the start and this award is hugely deserved.
“There is a lot of ground-breaking work going on at Prestatyn High around community and social responsibility and it is really exciting that this work, led by the young people themselves, has been recognised as best practice.
“This is a wonderful example of the enthusiastic and committed approach that our children and young people are taking in their bid for everyone to be treated equally and fairly. This work really is inspirational and I must thank and commend Prestatyn High for their efforts in getting this important campaign off the ground, particularly during what has been such a challenging period for education as a whole.”
Construction contract awarded for phase one of the Queen’s Buildings project
The Council has now awarded the contract for phase one of the Queen’s buildings project in Rhyl.
Two new CGI images show plans for the Queen’s buildings, a key catalyst project in the councils wider Rhyl Regeneration programme.
The first phase will see the construction of a new indoor market hall, event space and external landscaped area, along with the refurbishment of the Queens Chambers – the red brick building on Sussex Street.
Although phase one was already due to have begun, due to birds nesting on the site this will now begin in the summer. Professional teams are closely monitoring the site to discourage further nesting and to ensure that birds already nesting are protected.
The funding for the development has been provided by the Council, the Welsh Government Transforming Towns programme and the European Regional Development Fund, and Wynne Construction has been appointed through the North Wales Construction Partnership (NWCP) framework to construct the building.
Councillor Jason McLellan, Leader and Lead Member for Economic Growth and Tackling Deprivation said: “I am very much looking forward to watching this key development progress.”
“The Queen’s Buildings will bring multiple jobs, and a unique retail offering for Denbighshire residents and visitors from further away.”
“People now use their town centres differently. This project will keep us modern and be a real asset to not just Rhyl but the whole of the County and its local economy.”
Signage has recently been installed around the building to showcase other projects associated with the wider Rhyl Regeneration project including Rhyl High School, Christ the Word, The Rhyl Coastal Defences, SC2, 1891, Greening Rhyl, Rhyl Harbour, Costigans Co Working space and Edward Henry Street.
For the most up to date information about projects involved in the Rhyl regeneration programme, please visit our website.
The Cynnig Cymraeg: Celebrate your use of the Welsh language
The Cynnig Cymraeg (Welsh Offer) is a new scheme by the Welsh Language Commissioner. It recognises companies and charities working bilingually.
By working with the Commissioner's Hybu Team to create a Welsh Language Development Plan, your business may be eligible to apply for recognition for your Cynnig Cymraeg. The purpose of the Cynnig Cymraeg is to make it clear to the public what services you can offer in Welsh. It is an opportunity for you to show clients that you take pride in the Welsh language and are ready to use it. The Cynnig Cymraeg helps you to promote and increase the use of Welsh language services available.
How does it work?
- The first step is to contact the Hybu Team for a conversation and to complete a self-assessment about your current use of the Welsh language.
- We will then work with you to put together a Welsh Language Development Plan; set targets if your provision needs to be increased, and ensure that everyone in the company is aware of what you offer.
- Once your Plan is ready, we will work with you to identify your Cynnig Cymraeg: what are the headlines of your Welsh language services?
- Submit to the Commissioner for official approval
- Celebrate and promote your Cynnig Cymraeg
One company that has received the Cynnig Cymraeg is Hill & Roberts from Ruthin who said: “We feel that accepting the Cynnig Cymraeg recognises our hard work and commitment to the Welsh language and gives confidence to new clients looking for an accountant. The Welsh Language Commissioner has a reputation for high standards and therefore we feel privileged to have received the Cynnig Cymraeg and encourage any other businesses that are eligible to apply.”
Contact the Hybu Team for to discuss further: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on cost of living support payments in Denbighshire
The Council has administered over £3.2 million of cost of living support payments being funded by Welsh Government.
21,535 people in the county have already received the one off £150 payment. The Welsh Government’s Cost of Living Support Scheme is in place to help residents with cost of living increases and payments will be made to those with properties in Council Tax bands A-D.
Payments will also be made to residents who were in receipt of Council Tax Reduction Scheme Support on February 15, 2022, irrespective of the Council Tax Band, and those with properties in Council Tax Band E where the property has had modifications for disability, reducing the chargeable value to Band D.
Now the Council is encouraging other residents to apply for the funds and an email or text message will be sent to people where the Council has their contact details and a mailshot is being issued to all other qualifying residents, inviting them to apply.
Applications can be made on the website: www.denbighshire.gov.uk/costofliving.
Councillor Gwyneth Ellis, Cabinet Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets, said: “The Council is administering this scheme on behalf of the Welsh Government and we have been working as quickly as possible to make these payments to our customers.
“Many people have already received payments, but we want to make sure that all those eligible for the payments submit their applications as quickly as possible.
“Payments will be made automatically to the majority of residents paying via direct debit, with the remainder of customers needing to complete a short form on the Council’s website.
“The cost of living continues to challenge all of us it is vitally important that our residents claim what is due to them and I would encourage people to apply for the support payment.”
Flag ceremony to mark Reserves Day and Armed Forces Day
The Council has marked Reserves Day and Armed Forces Day
The Welsh and English Armed Forces flags were raised during a ceremony at County Hall.
Armed Forces Day took place on 25 June, and is a chance to support the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.
Reserves Day celebrates their contribution to the Armed Forces and took place on June 22.
Attending the ceremony were Councillor Arwel Roberts, Chair of the Council, The Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, High Sheriff of Clwyd, and several civic dignitaries.
Councillor Roberts said: “The Council is showing our support for Armed Forces members past and present who have risked their lives to keep us safe and who continue to do so. We are paying our respect to the Armed Forces community by flying these flags at County Hall.”
“We are also honouring the vital contribution many reservists make to our Armed Forces.”
Have you thought about a career in social care?
Are you looking for a rewarding career with opportunity for progression?
Have you considered a career in social care?
Listen to Kendal’s story here.
People working in social care make a difference to people’s lived every single day.
Listen to Sheila’s story here.
New tourism marketing resources launched
A suite of professional tourism marketing resources for businesses and stakeholders to use has been launched.
The resources include:-
- Communications toolkit with 5 key messages and ways to get involved
- Social media graphics for Facebook, Instagram & Twitter channels
- Image bank
- Short films
Please e-mail email@example.com if you would like access to these free resources.
Planning a beach day?
Prestatyn Central is the only North Wales beach to be awarded the prestigious Blue Flag 2022 award. The iconic Blue Flag is a world-renowned eco-label owned by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE).
For more than three decades, Blue Flag has had a transformational impact on water quality, safety and environmental management. It has inspired environmental awareness through education activities and promotion of social responsibility.
Rhyl Central beach has also achieved the Seaside Award for their standard of water quality and facilities.
For more information on the Wales Coast awards, please visit https://keepwalestidy.cymru/our-work/awards/wales-coast-awards/
Calling all businesses
Would you like to offer free leaflets to your customers that highlight our towns, countryside and cycling routes?
Just fill out the online form and leave the rest to us!
Keep posted on tourism news!
Sign up to our regular newsletters - denbighshire.gov.uk/business-sign-up-for-tourism
Follow us on social media by following ‘North East Wales’ on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram
Denbighshire offers a wealth of sites offering overnight motorhome and campervan parking.
With another busy staycation season expected, the Council's Tourism Department is promoting the county’s businesses providing overnight stays and parking. A number of businesses have signed up to be included on the North East Wales tourism website and in printed brochures which are now available across the region.
The work also supports the Council’s #LoveLiveLocal campaign which encourages people to support our local businesses.
If you would like to be included please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The North East Wales website managed by the Tourism Team has been revamped, making it brighter and easier to navigate.
You will be able to find tools there to help with your business as well as events.
Please let us know if you would like to be included by emailing email@example.com.
The Tourism team are constantly working to update their suite of Town Trails, having recently updated the Ruthin and Llangollen editions to highlight changes to the towns. The next Town Trail to be treated to a facelift is the Corwen edition, to help promote the new railway platform for the Corwen Station and the great efforts of the volunteers in the Corwen Museum.
Whilst on the subject of the Town Trails an exciting development is being piloted in Rhyl. In order to bring the town trails to a wider audience, an audio walk based on the trail has been produced. The main narrator is Tony from the Tourist Information Centre, who is a great ambassador for Rhyl, with other voices and sounds weaved in to bring it alive. People can walk and listen or indeed just listen from anywhere. The general message is one of pride in the town and sustainability and to promote wellbeing by encouraging people to walk. It’s available via the izi.TRAVEL app and promoted on the town trail boards. It is hoped to replicate this in other Denbighshire towns in the future.
You can listen using this QR code.
Have you seen our new tourism brochure?
The Tourism Team have produced a brand new brochure called Discover Denbighshire giving today’s travellers a more authentic, sustainable and undiscovered taste of what Denbighshire has to offer, for those wanting to absorb the local culture, try the food and get off the beaten track all year around.
You can download it here and it is widely distributed around the area.
Climate Change and Biodiversity
Electric chargers go live at Prestatyn car park
Two new electric vehicle charging points have been installed at a Prestatyn car park.
The Council has switched on two public charging points at Kings Avenue short stay car park. Each 50kw charger will provide ‘rapid’ charging facilities over four fully accessible parking bays.
This latest project is part of the Council’s action to tackle climate change following the declaration of a Climate and Ecological Emergency in 2019 and adoption of the Climate and Ecological Change Strategy in 2021.
Funding for the ‘rapid’ destination chargers which are capable of replenishing most vehicle batteries to 80% in under an hour was secured from the Welsh Governments Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle Transformation Fund.
The two new chargers are in addition to work ongoing to provide fast charging points in eight public car parks across Denbighshire for use by the public.
Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We are really pleased to be able to introduce these extra electric vehicle charging points in Prestatyn alongside the other local facility based at Fern Avenue. These charging points will support our important climate change work and also be of clear benefit to nearby households with no off road charging facilities.
“We also hope that this new facility will encourage owners of electric vehicles to come into Prestatyn and charge their vehicles in the car park while shopping locally to support the many businesses in the town.”
Tree Nursery opens doors to Prestayn pupils
Pupils have been given a taste of a Denbighshire biodiversity initiative.
Prestatyn High pupils recently visited the Council’s local provenance tree nursery at Green Gates Farm, St Asaph.
The site aims to produce 5,000 native wildflower plants a year alongside 5,000 native trees and has been funded by Welsh Government, through the Local Nature Partnerships Cymru ENRaW project and Local Places for Nature grant.
Denbighshire’s biodiversity team gave the pupils a tour around the poly tunnels on site where the plants and trees are grown from seeds sourced across the county.
They also took up the chance to test out their green fingered skills by re-potting some of the wildflowers grown on site.
The biodiversity team also gave an insight into other initiatives at the tree nursery which include a species rich hedge, a large native wildflower meadow, and a great crested newt hibernaculum all designed to support local wildlife.
Pupils were also shown the rain garden and large wildlife pond, installed as part of a sustainable drainage system designed to boost biodiversity and reduce flooding.
Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “It was great to welcome the pupils to our tree nursery and give them a chance to see first-hand and also experience the work our biodiversity team is doing to help maintain and improve our local environment.
“It was great to see and hear such an interest from the pupils about biodiversity and how they can support it and we hope they took away some really useful learning to help their own local areas.”
Following the Council’s declaration of a Climate and Ecological Emergency in 2019, this project is part of an ongoing commitment to enhancing biodiversity across the county.
If you are interested in visiting the tree nursery or helping out as a volunteer on site, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natural grass control method sows positive outcome
A pilot scheme has sown benefits for future meadow grass control.
The Council’s biodiversity team last year trialled a natural technique to reduce and control the length of grass at a Denbigh wildflower meadow site and improve the ground for flowers to flourish.
The Council’s Wildflower Meadows Project includes over 100 sites managed for wildflower meadow (including the 11 roadside nature reserves). These sites are equivalent to nearly 35 football pitches worth of grassland managed as native wildflower meadows.
And now a Denbigh site has become the base for a novel and self-sustaining natural way of keeping the length of the grass on the meadows shorter while they are in season.
Part of the meadow in Lower Denbigh was scarified and Yellow Rattle seeds, harvested from another meadow in the town, were sown.
During June the Biodiversity team inspected the site and found the grass length to be reduced, and wildflower abundance increased, where the trial had taken place.
This has resulted in more food for pollinating insects and their predators, and means that future plans to introduce new local provenance wildflowers grown at the Denbighshire Tree Nursery, will have greater chance of success with less competition from meadow grasses.
Yellow rattle is a parasitic plant, tapping in to the roots of grasses and other neighbouring plants and stealing their nutrients. This has reduced the dominance of grasses within the meadow, allowing more native wildflowers to take hold.
Yellow Rattle seeds from the Denbigh site are now set to be harvested to allow the plant to be introduced to other county wildflower meadow areas to reduce the dominance of grasses and help increase the number of wildflowers within the sites.
Councillor Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “We are really grateful to the Biodiversity team for trialling this project. This natural and self-sustainable method has reaped a positive impact at the Denbigh site, helping the future growth of other wildflowers at the site and also controlling the length of the grass.
“We are looking forward to taking forward this natural scheme to improve the biodiversity and look of other sites for the benefit of local communities, plant species and native insects.”
All wildflower sites are managed in line with Plantlife’s Managing Grassland Road Verges guidelines which sees the grass cutting at these sites prohibited between March and August each year, giving wildflowers enough time to grow, flower, and set seed.
The site is then cut after August and cuttings collected to reduce soil fertility and provide the wildflowers with the best conditions possible.
This project has been funded by Welsh Government, through the Local Nature Partnerships Cymru ENRaW project.
Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Loggerheads gets award for night sky protection
A project to turn a beauty spot into a dark sky friendly zone has won an award.
External lighting at Loggerheads Country Part in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) has been changed to improve the quality of the night skies in the area.
The work won the Good Lighting Award from the Commission for Dark Skies, an organisation which aims to protect the quality of our night skies.
The LED lights, which operate on a motion sensor, are fully shielded so there is no upward spill and light is directed only to where it is needed.
Designed in house by Denbighshire’s Lighting Engineer Graham Mitchell the LED lights are more efficient than traditional lights and the colour temperature is a softer yellower light.
The work at Loggerheads shows that protecting our night skies doesn’t mean turning our lights off – it means having the correct amount of light carefully directed to the places we need it, at the times we need it. Poor lighting, especially the harsh blue/white light often associated with LEDs, has been shown to have a catastrophic impact on biodiversity by disrupting insect patterns of behaviour which has a knock on effect across the ecosystem while light pollution has also been shown to have a negative impact on our own physical and mental health. Poor lighting has such a negative impact on our biodiversity and our own quality of life and yet it is relatively easy to get right.
The project has also shown that while traditional security lighting can create glare and shadows, a reduced amount of light, correctly directed can be much more effective – and better for the environment.
Following a public consultation last year, the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB is in the process of applying for Dark Sky Community status with the International Dark Sky Association.
Dark Skies status would help to protect our night skies, promote good lighting design in the AONB and provide opportunities for astronomers, enthusiasts and casual observers to see the night sky in all its glory.
For more information visit https://www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk/projects/dark-skies/
Green mobile observatory to focus on night sky
A green van is set to give local stargazers a glimpse of the night skies.
The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB) has welcomed a new addition to the team to help promote the Dark Skies initiative.
Following a public consultation last year, the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB is in the process of applying for Dark Sky Community status with the International Dark Sky Association.
Dark Skies status provides advice and guidance for developers and others on good lighting design in the AONB with the aim to guarantee astronomers, enthusiasts and casual observers can actually see the night sky in all its glory.
An electric powered Dark Skies van has now arrived at the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, designed to provide a perfect viewpoint of the local night sky.
The Renault Kangoo Z.E electric van which has a range of 170 miles, will be kitted out with astronomical equipment, including telescopes.
Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB staff will use the van to run Dark Skies public events across the local area to give people the opportunity to experience natural night sky.
The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB has produced a number of star gazing guides to help people find the major constellation in the night sky – they also tell some of the welsh folk stories associated with the constellations and the Welsh names of them.
Pupils get creative for Urdd exhibition
Eleven schools from Denbigh and the surrounding area took part in an art project that was designed to develop the pupils’ Welsh language skills through the arts and to develop their knowledge of their local culture and history.
The project was funded by GwE (the regional education consortia) and led by Ffion Hughes from Ysgol y Parc on behalf of their school cluster, in collaboration with Denbighshire Leisure Ltd’s Community Arts team. The Welsh Language patterns developed during these sessions were then shared between the schools in order to improve standards in Welsh of both the staff and pupils across the cluster.
The schools that took part in the project were: Ysgol y Parc, Ysgol Frongoch, Ysgol Pendref (all Denbigh), St Asaph VP School, St Brigid’s School (Denbigh), Ysgol Bodfari, Ysgol Cefn Meiriadog, Denbigh High School, Ysgol Esgob Morgan (St Asaph), Ysgol y Faenol (Bodelwyddan) and Ysgol Trefnant.
The exhibition was displayed at the Council's marquee on the Eisteddfod yr Urdd maes.
Pupils worked with professional artists Eleri Jones and Catrin Williams over a period of three months between January and March 2022. Catrin Williams explored the wonderful buildings of the historical town of Denbigh, with pupils then creating fantastically colourful townscapes with Denbigh as their inspiration.
Councillor Gill German, Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Education, Children and Families, said: “This is a fantastic project that has given pupils from a number of schools where Welsh is not their first language the change to get actively involved in the Eisteddfod in a creative and engaging way."
Sian Fitzgerald, Community Arts Manager with Denbighshire Leisure Ltd’s Active Communities team, said: “When working with Eleri Jones the pupils looked at images of historical figures that have contributed in many different ways to the continued use of the Welsh language. They looked at figures from the Celts to Dafydd and Llywelyn ap Gruffydd and Owain Glyndwr, to historical Denbighshire figures such as playwright Twm o’r Nant, novelist Kate Roberts and wrestler Orig Williams.
“The children and young people created individual collograph print plates of portraits of Denbighshire people, as well as some portraits of themselves. These were than applied on top of images of Denbighshire buildings created by the pupils who worked with Catrin, to create the finished works of art that you see here today”.
In Denbighshire, community arts projects are managed by Denbighshire Leisure Ltd’s Community Arts Service. For more information about projects in Denbighshire, please contact Jo McGregor on 07799 582766 / email@example.com or Sian Fitzgerald on 07717540857 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project was funded by GwE in collaboration with the Denbigh Cluster Welsh Language Development Group.
Remarkable Urdd Eisteddfod to leave lasting legacy
The Council has been reflecting on the success of the recent Eisteddfod yr Urdd and hopes that this major event has left a lasting legacy for the county for young people, the Welsh language and the local economy.
The Eisteddfod was hosted on the Kilford Farm site on the outskirts of Denbigh during the Whitsun holiday (30 May to 4 June), two years after it was originally due to be held due to Covid.
Now the Council has been looking at the success of the Eisteddfod and how the county, including children and young people have benefitted.
Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Jason McLellan, said: “This was a great opportunity to showcase Denbighshire as a great destination for holidaymakers and day visitors, as well as a great opportunity for our children and young people.
“We were delighted to work with the Urdd and local communities to make this Eisteddfod one to remember and the fact it broke attendance records speaks volumes for the amount of effort that went in to stage such a prestigious event.
“Denbighshire was featured on national television, radio, print and online media outlets and it really gave the county a platform to promote its attractions, its historic towns and villages and the wealth of businesses available in the county.
“Naturally the tourism accommodation sector benefitted tremendously from having the Eisteddfod in Denbighshire, with many businesses reporting to be full during the week. It’s hoped that other businesses will have had a successful week and we look forward to the outcome of research work which will show how the area benefitted economically from hosting the Eisteddfod.
Denbighshire had the best record for the highest number of entries from any county in the whole of Wales. Hundreds of children and young people had the opportunity to showcase their talents in a wealth of competitions, ranging from singing, recitation, drama, dance, group competitions, art, crafts and much more.
Over two hundred pupils took part in two shows sponsored by the Council. The ‘Fi Di Fi’ show was written and produced by Angharad Beech and Ynyr Llwyd, both formerly of Prion and former pupils at Ysgol Glan Clwyd. A cast of pupils from Glan Clwyd and Ysgol Brynhyfryd shone on the stage in front of a packed pavilion.
The ‘Ni yw y Byd’ primary school concert featured ‘mash-up’ performances of Welsh classics and other rock and pop songs. Over 150 pupils from across the county performed some of these classics and joined together to perform the Urdd anthem ‘Hei Mistar Urdd’ as the concert finale.
Councillor Gill German, Cabinet Lead Member for Education and Children’s Services, said: “This was such a brilliant experience for our children and young people. Our schools and Urdd branches really pulled out the stops in the competitions and Denbighshire was consistently one of the best performing counties during the week.
“We are very proud of what these young people have achieved and the support provided by the parents, guardians and those who spend hours training them for the national stage. To be able to see such prestigious productions at first hand and feel that sense of pride that was felt by the audiences will be something that stays with me for a long time”.
Councillor Emrys Wynne, Cabinet Lead Member for Welsh Language, Culture and Heritage, said: “Eisteddfod yr Urdd is a great way of profiling Welsh language and culture and the opportunities for young children , young people and families.
“We need to make sure that the enthusiasm and commitment of the Urdd, Denbighshire County Council and the tremendous work of local fundraising committees leaves a lasting legacy for Welsh language and culture. We will work closely with other organisations across the county to identify how best to capitalise on this renewed interest in the language and continue to provide opportunities for communities to use the language”.
See a little of what we got up to during the week!
Our Picturesque Landscape
Improved visitor welcome at the Horseshoe Falls, Llantysilio
After six months' preparation the area around the intake and meter house at the Horseshoe Falls has been transformed to create an improved visitor welcome.
The Lengthsman Hut and stop plank shed has been full restored and an interpretation panel installed, the railings and down pipes on the meter house have been rubbed down and repainted along with the installation of further railings around the intake. The work was undertaken by the Our Picturesque Landscape project, which is a landscape partnership scheme funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund based in the Dee Valley and supported by Canal and River Trust.
The work has been made possible by Welsh Government’s Brilliant Basics capital fund, which is supporting local authorities and national parks to deliver the improvements which will benefit both communities and visitors, will support projects to help alleviate pressure in areas that are seeing increased visitor numbers.
Our Picturesque Landscape Partnership Officer Kate Thomson said: "Thanks to Welsh Government Brilliant Basics and National Lottery Heritage funding, the area around the intake and the meter house has been transformed to create a much improved visitor welcome.
“To celebrate this, we formally opened the Lengthsman’s Hut to the public for the first time. It has been closed up for many years and after a full restoration has been furnished as if the lengths man who would have been responsible for the maintenance of a section or length of canal has just popped out to work and will be back shortly! The Lengthsman's Hut can be found opposite the meter house on the canal towpath.
“We are keen to recruit volunteers to open it up going forward if anyone would be interested in helping please contact email@example.com or telephone 01824 706163."
Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said: “We’re very aware of the important part that local tourism amenities have on someone’s overall experience when on a day trip or on holiday. These facilities often go unnoticed, but they are an important part of people’s experiences when they visit Wales, while also benefit those who live in the area”.
Furnished as though the lengthsman is due back any moment!
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Our Picturesque Landscape Project 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. Visitors have drawn inspiration from this beautiful valley in art and poetry since the 18th century and it continues to draw tourists in search of the sublime.
This landscape is under growing pressure with high numbers of visitors drawn to what are often our most fragile sites. The communities on its doorstep, born from the industrial endeavours that shaped it, are now less connected to the benefits the landscape offers. 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.
Projects have been developed under 3 themes -Conserving the Picturesque Landscape, Accessing the Picturesque Landscape and People and the Picturesque.
Our Picturesque Landscape Project is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. It is a partnership project developed by the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site, Denbighshire County Council, Wrexham County Borough Council, Shropshire Council, The Canal & River Trust, Natural Resources Wales, Cadw, Cadwyn Clwyd,) and the Friends of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL LOTTERY HERITAGE FUND
Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.HeritageFund.org.uk.
Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund
Dee Valley Picturesque Bus service resumes on Saturdays in 2022 improving access to key destinations in the Dee Valley
The Dee Valley Picturesque bus service is running again this year to provide access to some of the key destinations in this beautiful and historic landscape.
The Dee Valley Picturesque Bus service is a circular route which running every Saturday until October 2022, and links Llangollen and the surrounding villages to popular local attractions including Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, Wenffrwd Nature Reserve, Horseshoe Falls, Valle Crucis Abbey, Plas Newydd Historic House and the Horseshoe Pass.
The service will enable people to visit these key locations without the need of a car and reduce the need for parking spaces, making it easier for those without their own vehicle to access these places, and helping to reduce congestion at some of the busiest sites in the Dee Valley. Consider parking in some of the bigger car parks such as at Wenffrwd and hopping on the bus for a visit to some of the more crowded locations or for a longer linear walk. A great option would be to park at the main Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Queen Street car park, Cefn Mawr, take the bus to Horseshoe Falls and walk back along the canal. The service will also provide both visitors and local residents with the opportunity to explore the wider area. The bus offers hop on/ hop off facility with a 1Bws ticket price allowing unlimited travel on the service through the day making it ideal for getting off to visit a site and then back on the bus later.
The service has been made possible thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales, and delivered in partnership by the Council and the Our Picturesque Landscape project, a landscape partnership scheme which is working to conserve and improve access to the inspiring landscapes of the Dee Valley and Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site.
The Dee Valley Picturesque Bus Service 199 will operate Saturdays only from Saturday 7th May – Saturday 29th October 2022. For the full timetable and ticket prices for the Picturesque Bus service please see Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB website, Denbighshire bus timetable webpage or pick up a leaflet from Llangollen Tourist Information Centre.
Kate Thomson, Partnership Officer for the Our Picturesque Landscape project, said:
“We are delighted to welcome back the Dee Valley Picturesque Bus Service for a second year. We are really pleased that this service will be able to run at the full 16 seater capacity following the pandemic. By working in partnership with Denbighshire County Council, we have been able to ensure that the service complements existing public transport provision. Connecting to bus timetables from Corwen and Wrexham makes the Picturesque Bus service the ideal option for planning walks in the area. We are grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund in Wales for making this service possible, and hope it will go on to be a great success and a real legacy for the Our Picturesque Landscape project.”
IMAGE: The Picturesque Bus at the Ponderosa, Horseshoe Pass, Llangollen.