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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, 14:12 GMT 15:12 UK
Police apply for park alcohol ban
Ewloe Castle (copyright Flintshire Countryside Service)
Cadw said a ban would help keep a welcoming and attractive image
Alcohol may be banned at a Flintshire country park and castle after complaints about drunken abuse.

The application to ban alcohol at Wepre Park, which includes Ewloe Castle, came from North Wales Police and is being considered by the council.

Flintshire's countryside manager said staff were being abused by young drinkers who have held parties and lit fires in the grounds.

Historic monuments agency Cadw has also backed the proposed ban.

The council maintains the 160-acre site, which attracts about 200,000 visitors ever year.

The grounds, near Connah's Quay, contain football pitches, a children's playground, a fishing pool, a visitor centre and the castle.

Senior ranger Tom Woodall said: "It's not that we're killjoys, we're just trying to curb the excesses of a minority who spoil it for everyone else.

"I've got no argument with people coming to the park to enjoy themselves, but some people make our other users feel uncomfortable.

Pont Aber at Wepre Park (copyright Flintshire Countryside Service)
The park is a popular venue for both children and adults

"The underage drinking is a problem in the evenings but we also have occasions where adults' drinking causes problems.

"When you have young children, the last thing you need is a group of 20-somethings drinking and playing football and spoiling things."

A report to councillors by the authority's legal officer said North Wales Police had identified incidents of "nuisance or disorder related to alcohol consumption".

The council's executive has agreed that drinkers were causing a nuisance for members of the public.

Formal notices of the intended ban will now be published, and the council will invite representations on whether the order should be made.

A Cadw spokeswoman said: "Cadw work in partnership with the Wepre Country Park and would be in favour of the alcohol ban.

"A ban would help greatly in making sure that our historic environment is respected and presents a welcoming and attractive image to the public at all times."

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