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A former viewpoint offering breathtaking views from Nercwys Mountain has been ‘rediscovered’ after being hidden in trees for nearly 50 years.
Conifer trees planted on the bare mountainside in1964 had over time gradually hidden the viewpoint so that only people with good local knowledge or a map and compass could find it.
Now, the trees have been felled and Forestry Commission Wales has taken the opportunity to restore the viewpoint and preserve it as a feature in Coed Nercwys forest for generations to come.
Thanks to European and Welsh Assembly Government funding, a new 0.5 kilometre trail has been installed to the viewpoint and its classic trig point stone.
The trail takes walkers up onto the hillside above the forest and adds an extra dimension to the Nercwys Circular Trail which runs around the forest.
The disused four-foot high trig point pillar has been re-erected and once again provides a welcome sight for walkers.
Over 6,500 trig points or “triangulation pillars" were erected from 1935 to 1960 by the Ordnance Survey in order to determine and map the exact shape of the country.
By sitting a theodolite (an accurate protractor built into a telescope) on the top of the pillar, accurate angles between pairs of nearby trig points could be measured. This process is called triangulation. These “monuments to map making” are often found at or near the summits of hills.
The restoration project was made possible by collaboration between Forestry Commission Wales and the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd.
Rachel Jones, Forest Partnership Warden for FCW and the AONB said, “The viewpoint’s elevated position above rolling countryside enables walkers to see right across to Moel Famau at 554m (1818 feet) the highest summit in the Clwydian Range with its iconic Jubilee Tower, and across the forest all the way to the Dee Estuary.
“From any one trig point it is possible to see two others and on a clear day from here you can spot the trig point on the summits of Moel Famau to the North and Moel Gyw to the west.”
Cadwyn Clwyd provided £3,000 financial support through its Flintshire Sense of Place Project, which is supported by the Rural Development Plan (RDP) for Wales 2007-2013. The RDP is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Assembly Government.
Cadwyn Clwyd Project Officer Keira Derbyshire said, "We have been able to help people reconnect with an important part of their local landscape heritage and we have also been able to interpret the viewpoint’s Sense of Place with the provision of four panoramic panels on each side of the trig point.”
This work is part of an on-going programme of improvements at this popular community forest that has also included the restoration of Shepherd's Cottage, the introduction of Oxford Sandy and Black pigs to help restore a wild flower meadow and the establishment of a GPS EarthCaching trail which takes youngsters and their families on guided geological tour of the forest.
Carolyn Thomas Chair of the Clwydian Range AONB said, “This viewpoint was a prominent feature in the landscape for generations and the local community has been keen to see it restored for future generations.
“It has already become very popular once again. People have even begun to revive the tradition of family picnics and started a new hi-tech custom with the hiding of a geocache at the summit.”
Further information on Coed Nercwys, along with directions, can be found on the FC Wales website at www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
NOTES TO EDITORS
About 14 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Assembly Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
This project is supported by Cadwyn Clwyd Rural Development Agency
The project is part funded by the EU Rural Development Plan for Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government.
Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, e-mail email@example.com or e-mail Rachel Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org