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Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands

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The Opportunity

THE PONDS

The Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands Preservation Society was formed in March 2005 in response to the threatened loss of the Beaufort Ponds after the closure of the local steelworks in 2002. The aims of the Society were to help maintain and improve the ponds and woodlands and to preserve the environment for future generations. There are two large ponds on the site - the Upper and Lower Boat Ponds and two smaller ponds - the Butterfly and Drake Ponds.

THE WOODLANDS

Over recent years, there has been a phased development of mixed broadleaved woodland. The site entrances have been built for easy access and also to encourage use by the local community. Car parking areas have been built overlooking the ponds to encourage visitors to the area; the old informal pathway network has been upgraded and resurfaced linking up much of the Woodlands. A new bridge with the inclusion of an “all ability” circular path was constructed around the Upper Boat Pond, giving good access not only to walkers, but also to wheelchair and pushchair users. This pathway links up with a network of other pathways throughout the Woodlands site. Our group is currently restoring many of the other old informal routes.

Our work is to enhance the Beaufort Hill Ponds and Woodlands for the benefit of wildlife and the community of the surrounding area.

We aim to:

  1. Promote sustainable development and environmental awareness through; events, website, newsletter and on-going management of the woodlands and ponds
  2. Promote good practice with regard to recycling and composting, not throwing away anything that can be re-used.
  3. Make sure all materials used are environmentally friendly, and sourced from local suppliers where possible.
Provide new wildlife habitats for example through the management of the Woodlands and Ponds.

The Location

Beaufort Hill Woodlands Highlands Road, Beaufort, Ebbw Vale. NP23 5RG DIRECTTIONS Exit the Heads of the Valleys Road (A465) at the Rassau roundabout and head towards Ebbw Vale along the A4046. Take the first turning left heading towards Beaufort on the A4047 and follow this route through Beaufort. After approximately 3/4 mile you will see the Beaufort Theatre on the right hand side and a junction on the left. Take the second left after this junction up a short hill called North Street. The woodland is sign posted at the bottom of this hill. Turn left at the top of the hill and the Highlands Road car park is located on the right.

In-Kind Support Required

Yes

Type of Support Required

Although Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands Preservation Society has many members and volunteers that contribute to the development and management of the woodland, we always welcome additional support from anyone that is able to do so. Some of the activities of this years projects are listed below:

  1. Management of trees and scrub – creating the informal pathways that will open up the woodland, help with the removal, chipping and shredding of waste. This waste will be reused for mulching around our heather borders and the lining of the informal pathways.
  2. Management of formal pathways – clear edging by strimming, brush cutting and mowing.
  3. Planting of wildflower plugs
Install “sleeper bridges” over culverts along informal pathways.

Financial Support Required

Yes

Value of Support Required

Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands Preservation Society, in their management plan has pledged to re-establish many of the footpaths that have slowly disappeared by overgrown scrub and trees. The woodlands site has undergone enhancements that encourage the local community to enjoy the leisure, health and well being that is being promoted.

We seek support with the following:

Chainsaw maintenance, cross cut and felling small trees up to 380mm (15"), this training takes 5 days and will enable the trainee to become competent, complete with NPTC City and Guilds assessment, which is a requirement of the local authority and for insurance purposes when managing the woodland. The course costs £725.00 per person and including 5 days training, all registrations and NPTC Assessment.

Two volunteers/directors are seeking support (2 x £725 = £1450)

Local Name and Contact Details

Mr John Hillier – Director
Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands Preservation Society
49, Highlands Road, Beaufort, Ebbw Vale. NP23 5RG
Tel: (01495) 350159, Mob: (07766) 305132, Email: john.hillier@beauforthillwoodlands.org.uk

Any Other Comments

What Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands Preservation Society hopes to achieve with this project is to improve the quality of this newly developed park, provide community access and achieve active participation in gaining a greater sense of pride, ownership and care for their local community amenities. This will also create opportunities for improved social interaction, well-being and a healthier lifestyle and learning environment. This sustainable development will confidently be improved and supported by the community to a standard that will achieve the accolade of the “Community Green Flag Award”.



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