RHONDDA CYON TAF: Rhondda country park
Councillors have approved plans to officially make lakes and surrounding land in the Rhondda into a country park.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council cabinet approved recommendations that Cwm Clydach Countryside Park be made a country park at a meeting on Tuesday, September 21.
The report said the aim is that the the designation of the land as Cwm Clydach Country Park will provide the county borough with a new country park within the Rhondda Valley which will complement the existing Dare Valley Country Park in the Cynon Valley.
It also said the country park status will allow the council to erect brown tourist
destination signs to identify the area’s specific status and promote the area to visitors and the tourism service would promote the location as part of a wider offer to visitors of the park.
It will also allow the council and partners to apply for external grant funding to enhance opportunities for residents and visitors which will have a direct improvement on health and well-being of people using the country park, the report said.
The council has developed a working partnership with both Friends of
Cwm Clydach Country Park and Cambrian Village Trust (CVT) in relation
to the future developments of the land both at the proposed county park
site and the new 3G sports pitch in Clydach Vale.
The country park designation will support both organisations that work in partnership with the council to further enhance and develop the land for both residents and visitors, the report said.
The 166 acre park is located on the site of the old Cambrian colliery, an area of
outstanding natural beauty.
There are two lakes located on the site known locally as “top lake” and “bottom lake”, along with a number of small waterfalls.
Located to the east of the lakes is the Cambrian Lakeside Cafe Bar with recently resurfaced free public car parking area.
The land was reclaimed by the Welsh Development Agency, now Welsh
Government in 1984 after the land was acquired by the authority from the
National Coal Board and Coal Industries Ltd.
Part of that whole area has been redeveloped to provide commercial and industrial accommodation including the council’s civic centre and offices and these areas of the land will be excluded from any country park designation.
Coucillor Mark Norris who represents Clydach Vale on the council said it is a “great news story to improve the status of Clydach Vale.”
He said it would be only the second country park in RCT after Dare Valley and said it will be great to raise awareness of the countryside area.
He added that hopefully it’ll be a catalyst to attract outside funding into the area.
Councillor Maureen Webber said it would be a “great enhancement” and Councillor Andrew Morgan said it will help the community group look for further sources of funding.
Councillor Robert Bevan said: “it shows that community action can actually achieve.”
Words: Anthony Lewis, Local Democracy Reporter
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