Ponds & Woodlands
A Local Nature Reserve &
Community Green Flag Award Winner
THE BEAUFORT HILL PONDS AND WOODLANDS PRESERVATION SOCIETY
When the Society was formed in 2005, our aims were to help maintain and improve the ponds and woodlands and preserve the environment for future generations, also to work in a positive partnership with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council as a way of identifying and solving any problems appertaining to the environment.
We felt that the developing the woodlands on the council owned site were an intrinsic part of the area and worked closely with Coed Cymru on management issues. Over the previous ten years, the council had co-ordinated a phased development of a mixed broadleaved woodland through successive woodland grant schemes. Since the society was formed, we have undertaken site surveys and have mapped and produced a condition report on all the existing informal paths across the site.
The development project included :-
1) Development of site entrances to formalise access and encourage use of the site by the local community .
2) Creation of car parking areas overlooking the ponds to encourage visitors to the area.
3) Upgrading and surfacing the informal pathway network, including the creation of an “ all ability “ circular path around the ponds.
4) Ecological survey, signage and interpretation. – Interpretation panels were placed at the Lower Boat Pond
near Little Lane,and at the Blaen Cendl entrance. A third panel has now been installed near the Butterfly Pond.
5) Community involvement activities which included our three schools designing entrance features.
6) The development of the site would bring social, environmental and economic gains to the area. Improved access
would encourage greater use of the area with ‘all ability’ access.
Community groups and schools would be able to use the site for a variety of purposes.
Anglers would be able to make greater use of the ponds. Local contractors were used where possible.
The local L.A.M.S (Landscape and Access Management Scheme) team were given work experience, enhancing future employment possibilities.
A membership scheme was launched in November 2007, and to date we have 197 members, but would like a lot more, so why not join us ??
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PATHWAYS
For many years there has been an informal network of pathways around the ponds and through the woodlands, but even in the Summer months these could be quite boggy and difficult to access.These 'before and after' photos show how the construction of formal pathways have made it much easier for the many locals and visitors who walk the site. There is good wheelchair access around the ponds and for much of the woodlands with passing points and many benches to take a rest and admire the views.
THE PATHWAYS IN 2015
The photographs opposite were taken in May 2015 and show how the pathways have developed since they were upgraded in 2007 and also how the trees have matured to provide very attractive walks for our many visitors. The grass verges have been well maintained by BGCBC and also a small number of society members.