Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands - Page 2
The main Woodlands Site Entrance at Highlands Road
in January 2011 - the pathway was a "soggy mess."
The entrance in March 2012 - A new tarmac path laid,
a heather border and Interpretation Posts installed.
The text below has been taken from the Interpretation Posts.
This is a large 81 hectare site of open green space with several ponds, the largest two being the Upper and Lower Boat Ponds (known locally as the Black Pond and Boat Pond ) with two smaller ponds - the Butterfly and Drake Ponds. These ponds are the source of the Ebbw Fach river.
Part of this area contains Mynydd Llangttock Common which is important for many notable species such as the snipe, skylark and lapwings.
The Beaufort Ponds were built to supply water to the Nantyglo Ironworks.
They were built sometime between 1794, when the Nantyglo works was established, and 1840. The Nantyglo Ironworks closed in 1874 and by 1901, the ponds formed part of a collection of reservoirs leased from the Beaufort Estate by the Ebbw Vale Company. From then on, they were used to supply water to the Ebbw Vale Ironworks and later the Steelworks. The ponds were linked to the Steelworks a system of underground pipes.
The ponds are surrounded by the remains of early mining activity, that supplied iron ore and coal to the ironworks at Nantyglo and Beaufort. These included bell pits, patches and races – different ways of getting the valuable raw materials out of the ground.
The Beaufort Ironworks was established in 1779 by Edward Kendall and the village is known as “Cendl” by Welsh speakers.
Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus)*
Also known as Yellow Iris, Yellow Flag Iris or Jacob’s Sword or this colourful flower can be seen here in the pond. Historically, its roots have been used as a herbal remedy, most often as an emetic which induces vomiting!
Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)*
This is a rare dragonfly found in South Wales - they can be seen hawking across the ponds and fields from July to September. This is a large dragonfly about 73 mm (2.9 in) long and it is easily recognised, even in flight, by its brown body and bronze wings. Brown Hawkers eat flies, bees, ants, butterflies, midges and even smaller dragonflies.
Skylark (Alauda arvensis)*
On a warm summer day, you can often hear the songs of skylark above you - the males fly high, staying in the air for up to 5 minutes to attract females and then slowly descend.
Skylarks always nest on the ground, with the nest and its eggs concealed within dense vegetation.
*These species are rare in the local area. As such they have been included in Blaenau Gwent’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan, which sets out how species and habitats can be protected and enhanced.
"Green Spaces " page