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Thursday, 7 February, 2002, 16:39 GMT
Army repairs flooded wildlife site
Army and river
Soldiers have been repairing the river in Wrexham
The Army has descended on a National Trust site in north Wales to repair a flood damaged river, threatening severe problems for walkers and wildlife.

Salisbury soldiers threw away their combat gear for seven days in Wrexham after answering a plea for help from Erddig stately home.


There are footpaths in there, it is quite an important site for badgers and so we don't want it damaged

Sue Jones, National Trust

The 11 volunteers have helped shore up the banks of the Black Brook which leads into the River Clywedog - following flood damage.

The old weir had never been repaired and following severe storms in November 2001 the water rose quickly causing flooding to the nearby countryside.

Sue Jones, Environmental Officer at Erddig said the work desperately needed tackling: "If we didn't redevelop the weir here and reinstate it, the river bank would move right into the Hafod wood and so we need to restrict the flow of the water."

Corporal Collins
The soldiers have enjoyed the task

She added: "There are footpaths in there, it is quite an important site for badgers and so we don't want it damaged."

The work carried out by the men from the 19 Tank Transporter Squadron is part of a tradition of conservation work carried out or organised by 160 Wales Brigade.

The projects are seen as a way of repaying the National Trust for allowing the Army to train on their land.

Corporal Gary Collins said there has been a lot of work to do in Erddig: "There was river bank protection work to be done.

Build Protection

"The actual river had burst its banks after severe flooding last year.

"We had 31 tonnes of stone to actually build protection on the side of the river and reconstruct the weir."

The soldiers have been staying in a hostel and Corporal Collins believes the exercise is good experience.

"Everything we get out of this is all the characteristics needed for a soldier - we have to work as a team, it does get physical but it does build team morale," he said.

See also:

25 Oct 01 | Wales
19 Jul 01 | Wales
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