Special Weekend: World Heritage Day

It’s one of the highlights of the year at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site. A day when the town comes together to embrace the areas historic past and present day success.

This is a wonderful family and community event so do come along and get involved we can guarantee you’ll have fun!!

Here’s a quick insight about the day…

Dates: 29/06/2013 (11:30-16:00)

Where does it take place?
The event mainly takes place on Broad Street, but there are other sites that are hosting events as well such as the World Heritage Centre and the Workmen’s Hall.

The World Heritage Day

The World Heritage Day

Circus kids always gave fun

Circus kids always gave fun

Are there any fun activities to do?
Plenty! You won’t be able to get enough of all the fun and games that are going on. There are magic shows, crazy golf, pony rides and loads of Victorian games that will keep everyone entertained for hours!

The Brass Band

The Brass Band

How about entertainment?
Live bands will be performing and expect to hear the heritage choir in full voice! As well as music make sure you take your dancing shoes, as there are a wide variety of dance groups going to the World Heritage Day.  Groups include the Starlight Dance Academy and the “Vortex Dance Crew”.

What’s the aim of the day?
The aim of the day is to celebrate the wonderful heritage and history of the Bleanavon World Heritage Site in a carnival like atmosphere.  There are a wonderful fusion of events where Victorian funs and games meets more modern day performances. 

Event Programme – On the Stage at Market Square

- Blaenavon Heritage VC Primary Choir & Brass Band – 11.30am

- Blaenavon Town Band – 11.45am

- Lady Dog Walker Market Square – 1.45pm & 2.45pm

- Vortex Dance Cru – 2.15pm

- Market Square, live music and entertainment

- The Town Crier will be officially opening the event at 11.30am

- Blaenavon Male Voice Choir – 12.15pm

- The Widders – 12.40am, 2.30pm

- See the Picasso Griffiths Caricaturist – 11.30-4pm

At Lion Street, the dance area! 

- Tiger Feet – 11.30am & 2.30pm

- Vortex Dance Cru – 12noon

-  Starlight Academy of Dance – 12.15pm & 2.00pm

-  St Cadoc’s Millennium Chimes – 11.45am & 3.00pm

At the Gap Site, Children’s Entertainment

- Balloon Artist sponsored by Melin Homes from 11.30am onwards

- Story Telling from – 11.30am, 12.30am, 2.30pm & 3.30pm

- Family Fun at Broad Street Car Park

- Me Alexander Magic Show – 11.45pm, 1.45pm & 2.45pm

- Victorian Fun Fair, refreshments & children’s activities from 11.30onwards

Visit the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre for more family entertainment

- Face Painting, Pony Rides, and Crazy Golf – from 11.30am onwards

- Punch and Judy, 11.30am, 12.45pm & 2.45pm

- Blaenavon Junior Band – 2.30pm

-S & H 12noon, 1.30pm & 3.00pm

For more information contact:

Blaenavon Tourist Information Centre
Tel: 01495 742333
Email: blaenavon.tic@torfaen.gov.uk

 

A Special Hike: From an Industrial Past to Nature & Wildlife…

This is a journey that goes through past human industrial endeavours and follows the return of nature to the area.  The aim of this blog is for it to act as a simple guideline for an interesting walk that explains the area in two ways: Past history and nature…

Each part of this walk goes past a piece of landscape that played a significant role in the areas history. What might look like a natural pond or a stack of rocks, is often a relic that was used to contribute to an industrial machine in a rural open landscape. 

Start at Garn Lakes, Keeper’s Pond and the Blorenge Mountain – TAKE A MAP!

discover the transformation of Garn Lakes

discover the transformation of Garn Lakes

This is a route that starts in an area renovated and reclaimed for nature.  The journey starts from Garn lakes (Garn-yr-Erw), via keeper’s pond and onto the Blorenge Mountain.  It’s a walk that wonderfully defines the success of the Forgotten Landscapes project, which has contributed to success of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site.

The best place to start from is Whistle road car park next to Garn Lakes, which are lakes transformed over the past couple of decades.  In the 1990’s the lakes were part of a recreation scheme that transformed the area from a dirty coal polluted wasteland into clean lakes.

Wildlife around the World Heritage Site

Wildlife around the World Heritage Site

The lakes are surrounded by tip spoils, which are relics of Blaenavon’s industrial past.  The area is now a local nature reserve, which covers 40 hectares of lakes and grassland.  Now a days it’s easy to spot the wonderful variety of wildlife around.  In the area there are plenty of birds both native and some that have migrated from Africa such as; Tufted Ducks, Skylarks, Snipes, Redshanks and Little Grebes. It’s a spot that has started to become a birdwatchers paradise!

The lakes and spoils are a wonderful example of the work undertaken by volunteers who have successfully helped reinvigorate an all abandoned industrial area.

There are a number of walks that start from Garn Lakes, but for an example of when history and nature come together this is the perfect walk that defines it very well.

The Walk…

Leave the car park and go across the main road, then follow the track in the same direction for about 350 metres until you get to the Dyne- Steel Incline.

Around the Blorenge

Around the Blorenge

The Dyne-Steel Incline is an area that was once an old tram road and Iron Mountain Trail used for transporting materials during the industrial boom years.  It goes along a series of streams that may have emerged as a result of the recreational scheme to clean up wastewater.  Follow the trail along in a north-easterly direction, part of the walk goes past the site of ‘Winding House’.   Keep walking and the path then heads south of Pwll-Du Quarry.  The quarry is another fine relic of past human endeavors in the area, where material was extracted.  After the quarry the path goes above Balance Pond, the pond was used to store water for a “counter balance lift” that raised and lowered trams to the quarry.

Eventually the route will head in a southerly direction towards the B4246.  Cross the road and keepers pond (Pen-fford goch pond) is directly over the road.  The pond was built in the early 19th century to provide water for Garnddyrys Forge.

For some of the best views at the Bleanavon World Heritage Site head to the trig point on top of Blorenge Mounain.  From keepers pond head south along the B4246 until the “Foxhunter Car Park” appear, take a left and head towards the car park.  From the car park be sure to stop by the Foxhunter Memorial where the famous racehorse is buried.  Then embark north towards the trig point on top of Blorenge Mountain.  Once at the top, soak of the glorious views of the valleys towards the south and the Black Mountains to the North.  Keep your eyes open for red grouse and enjoy the nature and wildlife of the area.

Views of the Black Mountains from the Blorenge

Views of the Black Mountains from the Blorenge

This is a walk that offers a wonderful insight to the lands of south Wales, that were once alive with industrial activity which has now ceased.  In the past rumbles of machinery and mechanic would have been heard from afar, but now nature is back and the whistles of birds and the winds of the mountains have taken over once again.

Thoughts From Blaenavon World Heritage Site Volunteers

The Forgotten Landscapes Project at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site has been transformed to protect the heritage of the area, build new habitats and encourage wildlife.  A huge reason why this transformation and protection of the area has come about?

The Volunteers 

To showcase the project’s success with volunteers we thought we’d ask a few people who have been involved with wildlife monitoring, conservation and community engagement to tell us their thoughts!

Volunteers have been key to the projects success

Volunteers have been key to the projects success © Forgotten Landscapes

We interviewed: 
Heidi Scourfield, from Blaenavon who is involved with monitoring of the reed bed sites and is also a committee member for the project.
Julian Morgan. County ecologist.  Julian has a very personal story, as becoming a volunteer as the Blaenavon World Heritage Site helped change his life.
Nicholas Beswick, who has volunteered for Wildlife Monitoring.

1. How long have you been volunteering with the Forgotten Landscapes project?

Heidi Scourfield: “My partner and I signed up two and half years ago.”
Julian Morgan: “I signed for the project around 18 months ago, after I picked up a Forgotten Landscapes leaflet in Pontypool that was looking for volunteers.”
Nicholas Beswick: “I started volunteering at the project around two years ago”

2. Why did you get involved?

The conservation team having fun

The conservation team having fun © Forgotten Landscapes

Heidi: “As I live locally I wanted to help the area more to try and make a difference.  The project itself seemed very interesting and an excellent way to learn about the surroundings of where I live.”
Julian: “I had recently been made redundant, so I decided it was time to change my career and do something that would be more enjoyable to my life.  So I started looking for new opportunities which I thought would be more beneficial to my interests and where I could learn new skills.  In the area where I’m from it can sometimes be difficult so find such things, so when I saw the advert I applied and became a volunteer.  Since becoming a volunteer my life has changed for the better.  I have a new a job that is very similar to my volunteer job, I’ve met some incredible people and learnt plenty of new skills along the way.”
Nicholas: “As I had previous experience working for the National Trust working on bird surveys, I thought it would be good to contribute my experience to the project”

3. What do you find is the most appealing thing about the project?

Phragmites reeds on project site

Phragmites reeds on project site © Forgotten Landscapes

Heidi: “Being out and about has made volunteering a very appealing part of getting involved in the project.  I really enjoy being out in the open air, because the surrounding area of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site is stunning.”
Julian: “The preservation and conservation aspect of the project is a wonderful thing.  I love being around wildlife and nature, it’s a great feeling to be outside in the open air.  It’s been great to learn new things in terms of conservations.  As a result of the Forgotten Landscapes Project I’ve developed new skills which has helped me find new employment opportunities.  I’ve also bought my own skills to the project which has helped other people learn.  Without the project my life would be completely different, it has certainly had an impact on my own person experiences.”
Nicholas: “It’s an exciting project, which showcases a unique industrial heritage, which was an area of wasteland that has been turned into a more attractive place and transformed for wildlife”

4. Have you seen any changes to the area since the volunteer project started?

Beautiful Scenery in Blaenavon © Forgotten Landscapes

Beautiful Scenery in Blaenavon © Forgotten Landscapes

Heidi: “There have been a few changes over the last few years.  The one change, which I think, has had the most important and influential impact on the area is educating the local people.  More people in the community are now more aware of the great history that surrounds the area.  The lectures that take place at the Bleanavon World Heritage Centre have helped”
Julian: “From my own personal point of view in the eyes of a conservationist, I’ve noticed some big changes around Garn Lakes as a result of work from volunteers of the Forgotten Landscapes Project.  There has been a slow increase of wildlife as a result of activities like the laying of reed beds.”
Nicholas: “The work around Garn Lakes has been significant, before the area has no wildlife value, but has now changed dramatically”

2012-05-29 P1030212

Volunteers Hard at work! © Forgotten Landscapes

5. Where’s your favourite place to walk in the World Heritage Site?
Heidi: “The old rail line just past the cemetery on Varteg Hill, there’s an old cycle track and rail line.  Along the line you can see the Blaenavon Heritage Railway where there a historic steam trains.  There is a long stretch of forest towards Ponty and if you walk in the opposite direction you will end up at Garn Lakes.”
Julian: “The Blorenge is always a special place to visit, the scenary is beautiful and it’s also nice to see the changes to the area which the project has influenced.”
Nicholas: “The are a number of walks, such as heading up the North Ridge of the Garn Lake area.  There are areas where Red Grouse can be spotted.  It’s also nice to see the positive changed to the area.  Half a century ago the ridge was subjected to open cast mining, so it’s an interesting walk, but might not be for everyone.

6. Where’s your favourite spot to visit?
Heidi:
“It’s hard to say I enjoy it all…”
Julian: “I enjoy all of the areas, there is something different in ever place around the Bleanavon World Heritage site, whether it’s history or nature.”
Nicholas: “I find the hill pit part of the World Heritage Site fascinating.  It’s an iconic part of one of the earliest eras of the industrial revolution, the chimney was carefully constructed without the use of mortar, which makes it even more impressive.”

7. What do you think is the most important part of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site? 

Plenty of iconic sites

Plenty of iconic sites © Forgotten Landscapes

Heidi: “I think the most stand out place in the town would have to be the Iron Works.”
Julian: “The most iconic place has to be the Blaenavon Iron Works.  They’re historic and hugely significant to the area.”
Nicholas: “It’s good to see the local people actively engaged and appreciated by the community”.

8. Could you sum up your experience with the Forgotten Landscape project in one sentence?
Heidi: “It’s been an extremely enjoyable experience.  It’s got more people outside and active within the community.  It’s been wonderful meeting likeminded people and a good social experience.”
Julian: “An extremely enjoyable experience, that gets people outdoors, brings like minded people together, which has helped build confidence in people and the community.”
Nicholas: “It’s something that’s been a bit different, something that’s limited in scope, something that needs to be maintained by sustainably and public authority support.”

9.  Would you recommend volunteering to other people?
Heidi:
“Yes, it gets people out and about!”
Julian: “Yes, it gets people out and encourages them try new things.”
Nicholas: “Definitely, it’s something that is very rewarding.  People can see tangible changes, they can help to make a difference to the area, improve their skills and build the self-confidence.”

Summer with the Community: The 5 Best Things to Do!

Summer always sees the best of the community coming together in the town of Blaenavon and around the World Heritage Sites so here’s a quick guide on what community activities to enjoy for visitors and locals alike.

You can take a walk or hike outside along one of the trails for a beautiful day or visit a museum to learn about your grandparents and what they did. If you’re up for volunteering, there’s so many chances to help! And even if all you want to do is relax, there’s a place just for you.
DSC_0746
You can take a walk or hike outside for a beautiful day or visit a museum to learn about past ancestors and what they did. If you’re up for volunteering, there’s so many chances to help! And even if all you want to do is relax, there’s a place just for you.

Claire & Ian from the Monmouthshire Walking FestivalParty outside!
If you’re looking for something where the whole town is at your side, the Blaenavon World Heritage Festival is the best place for you. Fun pony rides and a great dog show that promises to be great for your kids and for anyone who loves dogs! Even if you are a parent, the show is guaranteed to be absolutely fantastic.

World Heritage Centre © Forgotten Landscapes

World Heritage Centre © Forgotten Landscapes

How did your ancestors live?
But let’s say you really love learning about your ancestors. Your history and heritage are a really important part of who you are, so whatever age you are – child or grandparent – Blaenavon can offer you knowledge about yourself. There is nothing better than learning about where you came from. The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre has lovely exhibitions and talks for everyone!

Beautiful Sunshine Makes for a Lovely Day
One of the best things about Blaenavon is that the location is absolutely beautiful. Whether you’re active or not, there’s a walk for kids or for an adventurous couple. The Mynydd Y Garn-Fawr walk is across open mountain, you’ll be sure to take at least 100 pictures before the day is out.

Volunteers uniting!

Volunteers uniting!

Blaenavon Pride
If your ancestors lived in Blaenavon, the town is the perfect place to go heritage searching, from the museums to the actual monuments. The Big Pit and Ironworks give you an idea of what the era was like, while the Museum will help you find information. So discover your past and learn what it was like back in the day!

Giving Back
Volunteering is a great way to spend a day in summer! Perhaps you want to just spend time outside or learn more about the wildlife? It doesn’t matter – because both are included. Join the Volunteer Rangers and really take the time to give back to the Blaenavon area!

Top 5 Things for Dads to Explore in Blaenavon

Known for its incredible heritage and beautiful Welsh landscape, Blaenavon is as Dad-friendly as you can get! There is no shortage for cycling or walking trails, and history buffs will be in heaven upon seeing the World Heritage Centre and Blaenavon Ironworks.

History at your fingertips 

World Heritage Centre © Forgotten Landscapes

World Heritage Centre © Forgotten Landscapes

History takes on a new form at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre for the most dedicated of history buffs. Interactive touch screens and specialized exhibitions are a great fit for any father looking to learn something. A gift shop ensures you will remember you visit, and a cafe makes sure that your dad will not go hungry!

Cyclist on the path © Forgotten Landscapes

Cyclist on the path © Forgotten Landscapes

 

Cycling: Get on that bike!

For exploring the countryside, the Torfaen Leisure Route is a moderate cycling trail that anyone can complete. It’s also perfect for walkers and horse-riding and a family-friendly trail for a bit of fresh air. Fathers will find sites abound, as the trail passes the Garn Lakes, the Monmouthshire Canal and many other beautiful local sites. The ride is around 18 miles, perfect for a relaxing day out with dad!

Workmen's Hall © Forgotten Landscapes

Workmen’s Hall © Forgotten Landscapes

The Ironworks: Flex your shoveling muscles. 

For those more interested in history, Blaenavon Ironworks is a more suitable location. Built in 1789, the ironworks have some of the best preserved furnaces in the world. There are also a variety of tours and historical reconstructions that will wow your dad into speechlessness.

Taking a Walk around Blaenavon © Forgotten Landscapes

Taking a Walk around Blaenavon © Forgotten Landscapes

Loop your way around Blaenavon and Abergavenny

On the other hand, a walk outside the town and around the country can be more appealing to those dads with a taste for nature. The Iron Mountain Trail is a beautiful walk that winds around Blaenavon and Abergavenny, showing off some of the landscape’s best features. The trail is around 7 miles long and loops in a circle, so that anyone can see the awe-inspiring valleys, ponds, and Tabletop Mountains.

Beautiful Scenery in Blaenavon © Forgotten Landscapes

Beautiful Scenery in Blaenavon © Forgotten Landscapes

Eating and Sightseeing on Train: The Perfect Combination

But your father might be more eclectic. No problem, one of the coolest things that Blaenavon offers is the Heritage Railway. For a fairly inexpensive price, you can ride on the highest altitude railway in England and Wales to see the sights without much work. Many of the trains have a buffet to refresh yourself with during the journey, and pass gorgeous sites you will remember for a lifetime.

 Upcoming Events:

The Hidden Landscape of Forgeside: Exhibiting from May 1st to July 26th

The Education in Blaenavon: Exhibiting from May 1st to June 30th

Archaeological Dig: Join in from June 12th to June 16th

Archaeology Site Tours: Check out what they’ve uncovered from June 15th to June 16th

World Heritage Day Celebration: Party at Blaenavon on June 29th

What To Do In June at What To Do In June at Blaenavon World Heritage Site!

Summer has finally arrived, and with it, a slew of things to do in Blaenavon that cannot be matched. Whether you enjoy the low key exhibitions about the history and the making of Blaenavon or the nonstop action of an archeological dig, we wait with anticipated breath for both of them to begin!

Summer at Forgotten Landscapes World Heritage Site ©

Summer at Forgotten Landscapes World Heritage Site ©

Learn your history at an exhibition or a talk 

Enjoy a day at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre walking and talking through the history of Blaenavon exhibition. The Hidden Landscape of Forgeside began in May, but is still available to see. You cannot miss learning about the hidden history of Forgeside and the story of Aaron Brute’s Bridge, and best of all – it’s free.

The Education in Blaenavon is another exhibition that remains a must-see. Although it began in May, it ends on June 30th, so time is running short! A devastatingly interesting exhibition, you will learn about the history of education and the St. Peter’s School, opened in 1816.

The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre hosts another Talk on June 11th, Life on the Dole in Monmouthshire before 1834. How was Poor Law Relief delivered? What do we really know about Law before 1834? Your chance to find out awaits.

THE BIG JUNE DIG: Unearth the secrets of four ruined cottages

Digging up history! ©

Digging up history! ©

Spend a few days attending an archaeological dig with an expert at the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre from June 12th – June 16th! The site of four ruined cottages promises to offer information on how they lived, what is preserved, how did they live on the land and more.

If you don’t want to actually excavate, you’re in luck! From June 15th through June 16th, there will be Archaeology Site Tours. Find out what the group has uncovered and learn about some of the customs of age-old occupants.

 

 

Festival time at Blaenavon World Heritage Site ©

Festival time at Blaenavon World Heritage Site ©

TIME TO PARTY! Attend the Annual World Heritage Day Celebration

Join the celebration of World Heritage Day from 11.30am-4pm in the Blaenavon Town Centre. Don’t miss the heritage costume parade, pony rides, live music and street entertainment on June 29th.

Part of Forgotten Landscapes Project Wins Prestigious Award

From the very start, the Blaenavon World Heritage Site & Forgotten Landscapes project has been about a community coming together to help improve and preserve a unique area in the United Kingdom.  

It has been a success thanks to the community of volunteers, not only from the Bleanavon area, but as far away as the midlands and south Wales who have united to make it happen.

Brecon & Monmouthshire Canal in Autumn ©

Brecon & Monmouthshire Canal in Autumn ©

One part of the project has been building awareness for the historic contribution of the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal.  Trails, signage, special benches have been put up along the canal by the project especially to celebrate the 200 year anniversary.  Last year also saw a whole load of unique events taking place along the entire stretch of canal which the project helped organise.

An Award at the 2013 National Waterway Awards!
DSC_8997

So when the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal’s 200th anniversary celebration program was nominated for the ‘Waterways Renaissance Award’, it was a wonderful surprise when the canal won!
The Forgotten Landscapes Project’s contribution to the celebration played an important role to the anniversary celebration so it was a very proud moment for all involved.

Highlights of 2012 anniversary events included the lighting of the entire canal and “Beacons to the sea” where a cask of ale was taken from Brecon to Newport.

So if you’d like to learn more about the canal and it’s history click here for more information.

We Need Your Help to Make a Difference!

Forgotten Landscapes LogosWith the Forgotten Landscapes Project coming to an end a research project is currently being carried out.  Here’s a chance to win £10 of vouchers for the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre’s Cafe, all you have to do is fill out a survey about the project to be in for a chance to win.  SIMPLY COMPLETE THIS SIMPLE QUESTIONNAIRE: https://surveys.glos.ac.uk/flpvol

The prize draw will be done via Facebook, all you have to do is like the picture.

As you may know the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape has been classified as a World Heritage Site since 2000.

After a consultation period from 2007-08, three years of Heritage Lottery funding was secured to further develop and enhance the area from 2010-2013 and is known as the ‘Forgotten Landscapes Project’. Part of the conditions of the funding, was to develop an exit strategy to identify on how to continue into the future.

The Countryside and Community Research Institute and Commons Vision, have been commissioned to develop a strategy that will aim to identify and develop long term options that build upon the  activity and successes of the Forgotten Landscapes Project.

As part of their work, an online questionnaire has been produced to allow any volunteers who have been involved with the Forgotten Landscapes Project an opportunity to feedback and shape the strategy for the area. The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete – is entirely confidential, and can be found at: https://surveys.glos.ac.uk/flpvol

This is an exciting opportunity for anyone who has been involved in the Forgotten Landscapes Project to comment upon it and help influence the future direction of its legacy. For many local people this has become an important and beneficial aspect of their community so we welcome people to get involved and for them to encourage others to do the same.

The survey will remain open until 12th June.

TCCRI Staff Group

TCCRI Staff Group

More about who is doing the consultation 

The Countryside & Community Research Institute It is the largest specialist rural research centre in the UK. It has expertise in all aspects of research in policy and planning for the countryside and the environment of the UK and Europe. It is based at the University of Gloucestershire. More information can be on their website www.ccri.ac.uk

Commons Vision is a consultancy firm that aims to provide practical solutions to common land and ecological issues through our consultation, ecological, legal, management and environmental services. It is based in Southgate, Swansea. More information can be found on their website www.commonsvision.com

New Super Fun Bike Track Comes To Blaenavon World Heritage Site

Wednesday 22nd May – 4:00 PM
“The Camel’s Back Bike Track” close to Keeper’s Pond -A Grand Opening!

The Forgotten Landscapes World Heritage Site project has been behind the development of a world-class biking track.

A new BMX & MTB track has been built at the World Heritage Site!

A new BMX & MTB track has been built at the World Heritage Site!

A wonderful new biking facility called the Camel’s Back Pump Track has been built for the people of Blaenavon, over an old coal spoil area.

The new ‘pump track’ has been designed by one of Britain’s most famous “elite level mountain bike rider’s” Rowan Sorrell.

Here’s a quick insight to what will be unveiled and why you should head there at 4:00 pm 22nd May 2013.
The new Mountain Bike Skills Track will be opened with a demonstration by biking legend Jason Carter.

How did the project come about?
The Forgotten Landscapes Project has chosen to create this facility after working closely with Blaenavon’s youth groups.  The project found out what they wanted in terms of outdoor recreation and this pump track was the clear winner.

The Forgotten Landscapes project sees this as an opportunity to provide something, which would allow people to engage with young people through offering fun activities.

Before...

Before…

Where can you find Camel’s Back Pump Track?
The Camel’s Back is an area of mining spoil close to Keeper’s Pond.  It is easily accessible from the B4246 and the Elgam Estate.  It is owned by Torfaen CCBC.

What was happening in the area before?
Irresponsible use by scramble bikes has, over several years, created tracks and gullies across and down the spoil.  Use of motorised biking in particular causes considerable erosion of the surface of the spoil and is also illegal.  Left unmanaged, this damage will be exacerbated by the effects of high rainfall and frost heave.

After!

After!

How will this benefit the area?
The project will focus on part of this area and attempt to resolve the erosion problem while working with the community to eradicate scramble bike use and encourage the use of mountain / BMX bikes.  It hopes local children will benefit by having new recreational activities on their doorstep and helping them stay fit and healthy.

It’s a wonderful way to get community engagement in an exciting sport which, in turn, may help deter local people from using the Canada Tips and other spoil sites for illegal off-roading.  In conjunction with a Mountain Bike Course Designer / Builder, it is proposed to work with a dedicated community group to develop the existing tracks into a purpose built facility.

How can people get involved?
Through this Delivery Plan a core group of young people (under the leadership of Neon Youth Club) will be established.  They will actively ‘manage’ the facility and learn skills.  Those involved will benefit through a reward scheme (similar to ‘time banking’).  There would also be opportunities to ‘showcase’ cycling skills to the public.

Contact: neonyouthclub@gmail.com

 

A Place to Start Your Discovery of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site

Every UNESCO World Heritage Site throughout the globe is of significant importance to the World’s history.  So in order to showcase this site, help people learn and discover what the place is about, a crucial part of a World Heritage Site is the visitor centre.
Here’s a quick information guide to the Blaenavon World Heritage Centre and the role it plays to helping visitors discover how they can make the most out of the sites, trails and places of importances to an area.

Location: Blaenavon

The location of the Blaenavon visitor centre

The location of the Blaenavon visitor centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visitor Centre Front

 

Full name: Blaenavon World Heritage and Information Centre

History?
The Blaenavon World Heritage Visitor Centre, situated in a former school built by the Ironmasters in the early 19th Century.

When did it open as a visitor centre?
March 2008

What can people do there?
Visitors to the centre can enjoy films, interactive screens to explore a range of topics, including standards of living, geology, transport systems and World Heritage.  There are exhibitions that explain the stories of the people from Blaenavon, who transformed a mountain landscape through iron-making and coalmining during the Industrial Revolution.

The centre has a gallery, which hosts regular temporary exhibitions, often by talented local artists or photographers.

Visitor Centre 1Café and Shop
There is a well-stocked gift shop in the building where people can by locally produced and themed products. During a visit visitors may also enjoy free wi-fi whilst enjoying an excellent meal or refreshments at the Heritage Café, which overlooks the picturesque St Peter’s Churchyard.

Key starting point to the World Heritage Site…
The centre is the starting point for several walks around the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape; the onsite Tourist Information Centre has a wide selection of walks leaflets for you to choose from.

The centre also offers specialised education provision for schools, a research facility and state of the art conference facilities. Call in to get your visit off to a flying start!

What’s so special about the building? 
Housed in two Grade II* Listed buildings, joined by a contemporary glass and steel link building, there are spectacular views over the Coity Mountain and the Blaenavon World Heritage Site. This historic venue, has a slightly modern twist.

The Centre has been finished to a very high standard, recently receiving an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Why should people visit the centre?
The Blaenavon World Heritage Centre is the ideal starting point for visitors to the World Heritage Sites. It provides an overview of how the stories of Blaenavon Industrial Landscape are of global importance.  It’s an information hub and a place to pick up maps, leaflets and guides to all the important spots.