The Glyn Valley Tramway Blog
The latest news and information from the team at the Glyn Valley Tramway Trust based in Chirk.
Many of you will be be wondering how we are getting on, so here is an update of where we are at the moment...
Last week saw the start of the BS5837/2005 aborecultural tree survey. This has been asked for by Wrexham County Borough Council to assess the impact our restoration project will have on the surrounding trees, both on the trackbed and in its vicinity. The survey does not include the trees we are intending to fell, but those that we intend to retain, especially the older specimens of oak that will be a real feature of the GVT once it is back up and running. This initial survey should take around a week to complete, but it is quite extensive and will mean that we will probably be looking at January or February before the final report is ready, largely due to the Christmas break slowing things down. We must also sincerely thank all of those people who have generously donated money to us in order to fund this survey, it really has made a huge difference and sped the timing of the survey up considerably. Please do know that even a small donation brings the official re-opening ceremony of the GVT in Chirk that bit closer!
We were also informed this week that the ecology survey has finally been completed, and will now be written up and presented to us within the next couple of weeks. This survey has been very extensive, especially in the search for Lesser Horshoe Bats, and it will be an impressive document when it is published. Again, this has been for our planning application, and will all being well be one of the final keys to achieving the planning consent we require to proceed with the restoration of the GVT in Chirk.
On the 18th November 2011, the Glyn Valley Tramway Trust moved into a new era with the election of a new Chairman and Vice Chairman.
The previous Chairman, David Cooper, had signalled his intention to retire this year after 3 years of towering and tireless work to push the GVTT to the brink where it on the cusp (finally!) of achieving planning consent from WCBC to restore Phase 1 of the GVT from Chirk railway station to the Chirk Fisheries, a distance of 1.2 miles.
The new Chairman, Dr David Carter (right in the photo) was previously the Vice Chairman and is a Reader in Architecture at Liverpool University, having previously spent many years as a Civil Engineer in the construction industry. He is also a Project Manager on the Shropshire Union Canal Society's restoration of the Montgomeryshire Canal, and is currently part of the team overseeing the work progressing at the Crickheath section of the canal near Llanymynech.
The new Vice Chairman, Ian Davies (left in the photo), was previously the Project Manager of the GVTT, and continues in that role as well as the Vice Chairmanship. Ian is a freelance Field Archaeologist and recently qualified as a Green Badge tour guide for North East Wales, a position which may see him giving guided tours to visitors to the area in the very near future. Ian also works alongside Dr David Carter on the restoration of the Montgomershire Canal, and has a direct family link to the GVT as his grandfather worked on the GVT as a Fireman, and his father was named after one of the engines, 'Dennis'.
Hello again everyone, and welcome to our new website and blog. We may have appeared rather quiet over the past year but we can assure you we havent got quiet or even gone away, we have been very much busy and active...
So far, this year has been one of surveys for our planning application. Early in the New Year, after our planning application had been submitted to WCBC in November, further ecological surveys were requested by WCBC and the Countryside Council for Wales. In particular, they requested a bat survey along the whole stretch of our Phase 1, which is 1.2 miles. The survey was to look for Lesser Horseshoe Bat activity around the trackbed and surrounding area. There is an important colony of Lesser Horseshoe Bats in and around Chirk Castle, and it needed to be concluded what, if any, effect our restoration project would have on that colony.
Also, a further tree survey was requested by WCBC. This survey, which has the catchy title of 'BS 5837/2005', has to be done by a professional arboriculturalist, and is quite a comprehensive survey detailing what impact our restoration will have on the surrounding tree population (in simple terms), and what we need to do to mitigate against that, to whatever extent.
As you will realise, this has slowed us up considerably, but has not stopped us, nor have we failed and neither are we staring failure in the face. It has obviously been frustrating, but necessary, and the results of the surveys will actually enhance our restoration project once we have our planning permission and the ground work starts and the GVT begins to return.