The above map is a photograph taken of part of one of the Information Panels on the site, showing the three ponds. Also shown are the routes of the three tramroad/railway lines. A - Route of the Beaufort to Nantyglo Tramroad 1833
B - Route of the Abergavenny to Merthyr Railway Line 1862
C - Route of the Clydach Railroad built to link Beaufort to Gilwern 1793
THE OPEN SPACE
The open space covers over 22 hectares and was created as part of a land reclamation scheme in former mine workings. Two of the main pathways through the site follow the routes of tram roads built between 1793 and 1833, that carried coal, iron ore and other materials from the Ironworks at Nantyglo and Beaufort to the quarries above Lllangattock
and the canal at Gilwern.
Warwick Road follows the route of the Abergavenny to Merthyr railway built in 1862 and closed in 1953.
Over three hectares of native new woodland has been created. The trees planted are
native to ensure they match the site conditions and benefit wildlife. Trees include sessile oak, rowan, downy birch, hazel and holly. A number of memorial trees, sponsored by members of the local community have also been planted.
There are three ponds in the Park, the large pond known locally as the Machine Pond, and the Horsetail Pond are of ecological and archaeological importance. They date between 1796 and 1820 and were once
part of a series of five ponds that ran into the ironworks at Nantyglo. The site also supports other smaller ponds, which are important for amphibians and dragonflies.
A few years ago the Horsetail Pond was silted up and was then partly scraped to create an open area of water.
Around the Machine Pond, a level pathway has been created with wheelchair friendly links to Warwick Road. A small carpark has been created at the southern end of the lake from which there is a wheelchair friendly link to the the pond.
To encourage more wildfowl to breed on the Pond, an artificial nesting island has been created. More islands, including one aimed at encouraging terns to nest, are currently being constructed. Funding is being sought to install some wheelchair friendly fishing bays and also to restock the pond with suitable fish. An Angling club has been formed to manage the water and some baliffs have been appointed.
The Machine Pond flows into a small pond called the Mustard Pond. This sheltered area is a haven for wildlife and has been improved with this in mind.
During the summer months of 2006 work started on the construction of the new pathways around the Machine Pond
New steps providing access from Warwick Road onto the cycle route which runs the length of the Parc from Beaufort to Brynmawr. All weather surfaces are a great improvement and much appreciated by all our visitors.
Another example of improved access from Warwick road. This access point allows entry by those using wheelchairs or for mums with prams and pushchairs
The Directors successfully gained a grant from Cyd Coed to improve the environment of the site. Phase one of tree planting was completed in the spring of 2006. A local contractor - Afan Landscaping completed the final stage of tree planting during January and Febuary of 2007. During the spring and summer months of 2006 tidying up of the verges along Warwick Road was undertaken. Much of the overgrown vegatation was cut back, spraying of invasive Japanese Knotweed and a general clearing up of years of waste and litter was carried out by the Local Authority's LAMS team. During the spring of 2007 the final phase of improvements was completed.
At present Warwick Road has an avenue of trees running along its entire length. Due to years of neglect many of these trees are overgrown and mis-shapen. The Crowns of the trees will raised - giving them structure and form.
A number heather beds will be planted up, the community and residents of Warwick Road will be invited to plant up the final shrub beds.
WHY IS THE SITE SO SPECIAL ?
The site supports a range of important habitats such as species rich grassland,ponds, swamp and mire with valuable aquatic vegetation.
New habitats such as native woodland and hedgerows have been created.
It is a great place for people offering excellent walks and bird watching.
The Outdoor classroom is ideal for schools to use for nature studies.