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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
'No-go' woods now wildlife haven
Kingfisher (Pic: RSPB)
Kingfishers have been spotted near the river in the woodland
A five-year woodland regeneration project in one of the biggest estates in north Wales has been completed with the opening of a foot bridge.

The new bridge links foot paths through what used to be a "no-go" area for people living on the Maesgeirchen estate on the outskirts of Bangor.

Kingfishers and otters are among the wildlife that can now be seen in the woodlands after a 110,000 development.

A councillor said the woodland had made a "huge" difference to the community.

Residents, including children, volunteered to clear the woodland area which had become a notorious fly-tipping area, said Councillor Dorothy Bulled.

"The development has made a huge difference - you wouldn't believe it," she said.

"It is wonderful to go down there now and people from the surrounding area all come too because of the wildlife and the wonderful picnic areas."

Paul Hockaday from the local Communities First Partnership said the project, known as Cam Nesaf, had "brought people together like never before".

Cam Nesaf in Maesgeirchen, Bangor
People from outside the estate have been drawn to the woodlands

He said: "This woodland creation has made a real difference to the estate."

"People believe that we can take control of our environment and really improve it."

As part of the project, new woods have been planted all around the estate, paths have been built and other woodlands have been made safer.

The footpaths and bridge are also accessible to wheelchair users and families with pushchairs.

The project was financed by Cydcoed - Woods For All which provides help and finding for community groups in deprived areas to develop woodland.

It was also backed by the Forestry Commission Wales grants programme funded by the European Union (Objective One) and the Welsh Assembly Government.

The Communities First Partnership built on the first Cydcoed project run by the residents' association MATRA (Maesgeirchen and Tanybryn Residents' Association) in 2003.


SEE ALSO
'Vigilante' concern on estate
22 Aug 01 |  Wales

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