A dried-up pond which once provided an important watering hole for livestock travelling on an ancient drovers’ road has been restored to its former glory.
The pond at Clawddnewydd stands alongside the village pub, the Glan Llyn, and once again has water lapping at its edges thanks to a £26,500 makeover paid for by rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd’s Green Communities Project which is funded by the EU and Welsh Government Rural Communities Rural Development Programme.
The scheme has been praised by Darren Millar, Member of the Senedd for Clwyd West, who said: “Whenever I come to Clawddnewydd I’m always impressed by the community spirit here.
“One of the things that always amazes me is how you get together as a community and do things because it doesn’t happen everywhere – you have a magic quality here.
“I haven’t seen a project as inspirational for a long time because you have transformed a tired piece of land in the middle of the village into something you can enjoy and be proud of.
“I’m sure it will be a hive of activity here this summer and will be full of wildlife.”
The presence of the pond, fed by a natural spring, probably explains the existence of both the inn and the village which grew up around the resting place for the cattle drovers.
But as the spring dried up, according to Derwen Community Council Chair Hywel Jones, the pond had become an eyesore.
He said: “It had really deteriorated. It would still have water in it in the winter when the rain filled it but in summer it dried up so you could walk across it.
“It was overgrown and full of rubbish which had been thrown in there or blown in and it was such a shame because most villages would give anything to have a pond like this.
“We wanted to do something about it and Cadwyn Clwyd’s Green Communities Project came up with the funding and project officer support.”
The Community council oversaw the project which has seen the pool slightly reduced in size and lined to prevent water loss in summer and it is now fed by a borehole drilled 62 metres deep by Dragon Drilling, based just down the road in Bryn SM.
The area has been re-planted and seating installed and Hywel Jones added: “All the work and materials have been provided locally.
“E Jones and Son from Clawddnewydd did the groundworks, UK Lining from Cerrigydrudion lined the pond, the fencing was by J Lloyd and Son, from Bryn SM, A L Williams, from Pwllglas, did the electrical work and Llefelys Rees, from Derwen, put up the pumphouse shed.
“The furthest we had to go was to Denbigh for seating by Meifod Wood Products while the members of the council and volunteers have provided the labour.
“There used to be moorhens and wild ducks on the pond before it dried out but now we’re hoping they’ll be back soon and Ysgol Carreg Emlyn are keen to use it for their environmental studies.”
Cadwyn Clwyd Green Communities Lead Haf Roberts said: “Derwen Community Council have worked extremely hard to restore the pond at Glan Llyn, using mainly local contractors and supporting the local economy.
“It is great to see it completed. It will provide a focal point for the whole community at Clawddnewydd to enjoy the benefits of a tranquil outdoor space.”
“Ponds are a good way to boost biodiversity as they attract the small invertebrates that so many other species rely on for their food, and so on up the food chain.
“With continued support for maintenance and cleaning, the pond will be an attractive space for local people to spend time around for years to come as well as providing a valuable wildlife sanctuary.”
The Green Communities project is funded through the Welsh Government Rural Communities Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), and Welsh Government.
This £1.3 million project is supported by the Enabling Natural Resources and Wellbeing Fund (ENRaW), that will provide financial support to community-led projects in order for them to deliver green initiatives by embracing sustainable management of natural resources, in addition to supporting Covid recovery at a community level.