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Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Tuesday, 4 May 2010 14:30 UK
Flintshire coastal path takes the next step

Greenfield Dock... on the Dee estuary and over-looking Wirral
Greenfield Dock... work is on-going to improve the amenity of the historic dock

Work is under way on the next phase of Flintshire's 25-mile (40k) coastal path, giving a mix of far reaching views over the Dee estuary and countryside.

An inland public footpath through parts of privately owned Mostyn estate is currently being upgraded, linking to Mostyn Dock and on to Greenfield Dock which, itself, is also undergoing a new round of improvements.

This is in addition to the £140,000 spent last year on Greenfield Dock which says, Mike Taylor, senior coastal ranger for Flintshire Council, is a focal point due to its history and commanding views of the Dee.

One of sculptures on the Dee at Greenfield
One of sculptures on the Dee at Greenfield

Among the improvements, new roads have been laid, pathways built and restored along with guided walks and trails created using information boards and sculptures.

Plus, the Friends of Greenfield Dock has been set up involving fishermen, ramblers, RNLI, RSPB, local councillors, and the mayor of Holywell.

In its heyday, boats ferried copper, leather, coal and other produce from Greenfield Valley near Holywell, to the rest of the world.

There's even a link with the slave trade from the docks as manillas - or bracelets - made locally were given in exchange for goods in Africa in the 1700s along with copper sheeting used on the hull of Britain's most famous ship, HMS Victory , Lord Nelson's flagship in the Battle of Trafalgar. ( Find out more about these objects as part of the BBC project, A History of the World )

Work is being carried out in phases along the different stretches of Flintshire's coastal path which starts at Saltney Ferry on the border with Chester and ends at the Denbighshire border on Shore Road, Prestatyn.

Elsewhere, £80,000 has also been spent on improving the amenity of a pathway at Bettisfield, Bagillt, giving, by far, the best views over the Dee from a 100ft (30m) vantage point, according to coastal ranger Mike.

Other connecting paths include Flint Point - just to the north of Flint Castle - which is regarded a good place for bird spotting. (Where to spot wildlife on the Dee)

And work is due to start next year on another path at Gronant and Talacre Beach

Flintshire's coastal path is part of a bigger ambition set by the Welsh Assembly Government in 2007 to create a Wales Coastal Path.

Meanwhile, plans for the separate cycle path across the area are also continuing with work due to be completed soon on a new section linking Mostyn Dock with Ffynnongroew via a new bridge.

The other off-road section comes into Flintshire from Chester and follows the Dee estatury to Dock Road, Connah's Quay, before going on road to Flint and Mostyn Dock.

Sustrans, the UK's sustainable transport charity, is managing the overall project to build a coastal cycle path.

New signage and footpaths have been added to Greenfield Dock
New signage has been added to Greenfield Dock to encourage more visitors

Old photos

The Friends of Greenfield Dock are asking members of the public to share old photos of the dock to help tell the story of its past.

Fisherman John Jones, a member of the friends' group, said: "We have begun to regenerate the docks but can't find any old photos of it. We have looked in old books, libraries and record offices, but to no avail.

"There just might be somebody out there with a photo, painting or information that could help with our research.

"The dock has a fascinating history and we hope to awaken the local community and schools to the history that is on their doorstep."

If you have any photos, email them to us at wales.northeast@bbc.co.uk and we'll pass them along to the friends' group.




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