Ponds & Woodlands
A Local Nature Reserve &
Community Green Flag Award Winner
Awarded for seven consecutive years
The present community has its roots in the industrial revolution and later, aspects of the Chartist movement. Beaufort Hill is a part of what is now regarded as ‘Beaufort’. It is a linear development of housing, small commercial and light industry over the period of the industrial development in the 18th century to the present day, although industrial elements have declined. Beaufort Hill sits at the head of the Ebbw Fawr and Ebbw Fach Valleys .
The community responded in numbers when the threat of pond drainage was imminent. It was community support which prompted what essentially was an action group, to prevent pond drainage, and which encouraged the decision for the Beaufort Hill Ponds and Woodlands Preservation Society to take steps to become a company limited by guarantee. The community has a strong sense of identity which focuses on activities and adult educational opportunities at the Beaufort Hill Welfare Hall. Beaufort Hill Primary School, Pen-y-Cwm School,a facility for children with special educational needs, and playing fields add to community life.
The community is involved with another environmentally focussed organisation which aims to promote an area of industrial dereliction into a community amenity.
THE SOCIETY DIRECTORS
FORMATION OF THE SOCIETY.
The Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands Preservation Society was formed in March 2005 in response to the threatened loss of the Beaufort Ponds, which, at the time, were owned by the Corus Steel Company, who closed the Ebbw Vale Tinplate Works in 2002.
Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council owned the site and negotiations for them to take over ownership of the ponds from Corus were completed on February 22nd 2007.
Beaufort Hill Woodlands is managed by B.G.C.B.C Regeneration with the Leisure Department managing the Ponds area in partnership with our Society.
The society is a newly formed company, limited by guarantee, and was incorporated on February 28th 2006 and is managed by a board of directors, currently consisting of fifteen directors who represent a cross section of the community.
We currently have vacancies for four directors, and if anyone is interested in becoming a director of the society, please contact us.
About the Society.
John Hillier - Secretary
Eric Smith - Chairman
Adam Hill - Vice Chairman
Roy Lynch - Treasurer
Robert Smith - Minutes Secretary
Jeff Williams - Website Editor
Mrs Marilyn James
Mrs Karon Andrews
Rex Herbert MBE 1926 - 2018
It was so sad to hear that our former chairman and founding director had passed away at the beginning of December. Rex was made our Honorary President after relinquishing his role as chairman of Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands Preservation Society.
The Gwent Gazette has now publicly announced his passing as follows:-
"We are sad to report that Wales' longest-serving councillor and a former mayor of Blaenau Gwent has died.
William David Reginald Herbert, known as Rex, served as mayor for the borough three times and was a councillor for 53 consecutive years.
The great-grandfather will also be remembered as a former head teacher of Beaufort Primary School.
In 2001, Rex was awarded an MBE for services to Local Government and the community in Beaufort.
During his career, he played an instrumental role in opening Ebbw Vale swimming pool, redeveloping the steelworks site, and overseeing the Garden Festival.
The 92-year-old will be sorely missed by the community for his years of hard work."
Graham was a local councillor at Beaufort for many years and a founder member of the Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands Preservation Society when it was formed in 2005. He sadly passed away in October 2013, and the following tribute to Graham was written by Society Chairman David White.
" In October 2013, our secretary, Graham Hughes sadly passed away after a long illness. He started the fight to keep the ponds from being drained and filled in, when we called a meeting, we found that there was incredible support.
Problems he worked at, included getting agreement fromCorus, support from the Borough Council and becoming acompany with guarantee, so we could apply for grants.
He was always proud of our achievements and worked hard at looking after the park. Despite his illness, he enjoyed thefruits of his labour. He will be missed by the Directors and visitors alike."