People urged to take part in Fron Aqueduct project

Reporter:

Matt Sims

PEOPLE living near a newly-crowned World Heritage Site in Froncysyllte are being urged to take part in activities to find out more about the impressive structure which dominates their landscape.

A project to forge closer links between local communities and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the 11-mile-long Llangollen Canal corridor has already been launched.

On Saturday a badger walk session, to give people an insight into the animal, starts from Llangollen at 10am with an awareness introduction followed by a site tour and field surveys.

The following Wednesday (January 20), Wrexham Council biodiversity officer Emma Broad will host a walk showcasing two animals which polarise popular opinion – otters and mink.

The event will start with an awareness briefing at 10am in Trevor Community Centre, before taking to the canal bank in search of the animals.

Plans are being developed to create better habitats for the otter, which is once again thriving along sections of the Dee Valley. Otter homes, known as holts, will be built at selected locations, encouraging the important native species to recolonise the area in strength.

Access improvements and towpath upgrades are being drawn up ahead of the new tourism season at Easter, encouraging more local people and visitors alike to enjoy this unique leisure environment.

The first in a rolling programme of ‘towpath tidy’ events is being staged in Trevor, Garth and Froncysyllte on Saturday, January 23, with community volunteers cleaning infrastructure, cutting back excess vegetation and clearing away rubbish.

Community projects officer Piers Warburton said a key project objective was to equip communities with the skills to identify ‘field signs’ of animals – a vital aspect in building up an accurate database of their habitats and movements.

He said: “A series of awareness sessions will give people the skills to identify these wildlife signatures. We will then undertake a survey of the entire 11-mile canal length to compile a comprehensive picture of its wildlife and their lifestyles.

“This in turn will provide a platform for regular conservation days that will help conserve their habitats and help them to flourish.”

For the walks, weatherproof clothing and stout footwear are essential equipment, while packed food is a desirable.

Advance booking is essential by calling Piers Warburton on 07920 810349.

See full story in the Leader

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