Trevor Rowson Wildlife & Heritage Park

A Community Green Flag Award Winner & Local Nature Reserve. 

Trevor Rowson Park

Trevor Rowson Park.

About 150 years ago at this site there was a GWR station connecting to Newport, spoil heaps and ironmasters mansions.  The Trevor Rowson Park is a popular amenity for short rambles with the dog, good for joggers and children to spend the day in this beautiful little idyll.

This park is dedicated to Trevor Rowson, a local historian and a local memorial to him can be found on site.

The Trevor Rowson Park is an 18 acre site in Nantyglo, Gwent.  It is leased to the Nantyglo Action Group (NAG) who have obtained grants for the provision of footpaths, ponds, picnic sites and tree planting.  Where once was pit, railway, spoil heaps and Brewer's Mansion there now is a peaceful idyll well used by people and wildlife.

Nantyglo Action Group (NAG) held a dedication ceremony to the memorial for local historian Trevor Rowson.  The ceremony was the culmination of several years' work by the NAG, firstly to safeguard an 18-acre site for the Trevor Rowson Park, then to obtain grants to enhance the park as a public amenity, and the instillation of the standing stone to his memory.

The stone bears the inscription :-

"This standing stone and park is a celebration of the life and work of Trevor Rowson a son of Nantyglo, who made us all aware of our rich heritage as a local historian and advisor to novelist Alexander Cordell."

To find out more about Trevor Rowson and Alexander Cordell,

please click on the links below 

The text in the boxes, has been taken from the Interpretation Panel pictured below.

Nantyglo Action Group.

N.A.G is a voluntary organisation, working to provide a better environment for us all.

Please respect the work of N.A.G in Maintaining this area as your amenity.

No taking of wildlife , it is now a wildlife refuge.

Take your litter home.

Do not light fires.

Try not to disturb wildlife, particularly in the nesting season - April to July.

N.A.G - for our children, grandchildren and other forms of wildlife.

N.A.G ( The Nantyglo Action Group ) was formed in May 2001 to organise opposition to a proposed housing development on the former Hafod-y- Ddol school site.

Having been undisturbed for over fifteen years, the land was now home to fifty two species of birds, including barn owls, now used by N.A.G as its' emblem, emerging from the gloom of the industrial revolution, also three species of bats and a varied plant life.

Also, the site has a small meadow land still worked and traditionally maintaining its' interest in biodiversity.

Since May 2005, the council has granted N.A.G a 21-year lease on the eighteen acre to develop as The Trevor Rowson Park.  Using grants from Cyncoed, Communities First, ENFYS, Keep Wales Tidy and Awards For All.  N.A.G has built the amenity that you see today.

This sign is funded by a grant from the Cleaner, Greener Communities Programme. 

Nature Notes

Wildlife has thrived in the park since its' protection as a green wedge, biodiversity is increasing as more species use the park for nesting or hunting Buzzards, Kestrels and Sparrowhawks and other raptors can be seen using the parks grasslands as a hunting grounds.  Barny, Towny and Little Owls are frequently seen in the morning or evening twilight.

Green Woodpeckers feed on the ant hills though you are far more likely to hear them than see them.  Great Spotted Woodpeckers are also frequent visitors.  Herons have called at the ponds and a variety of Finches, Thrushes, Tits, Warblers, Flycatchers and Crows are in residence locally.  Species such as the House Sparrow and Redpoll which are in decline nationally are thriving on the site.

Birds in the Park also include Goldcrests, Wrens, Siskins, Tree Creepers and the Nuthatch. In Summer Noctule and Pipistrelle Bats also reside and forage in the Park.

The diversity of plant life is wonderful, ranging from your  humble dandelion to heath spotted and bee orchids among the rushes and spaghnum moss.

Primroses, Blue and White Bells, Scabious, Lady's Smock, Clover, Trefoils, Teasels so many different varieties, far too many to name.  One to note are the self seeded purple and white Aquilegia by the small ponds, that appear natrually most of the year.

 

Rabbits and Hedgehog are abundant, Pygmy and Common Shrews, Short-tailed Voles, Yellow-Necked and Wood Mice are found on the site providing food for raptors.

Grey Squirrels can also be found on the site.

 

Historic Notes  

The map on the right dates from 1882 when there was a very different Nantyglo to that seen today.  You are stood where a Great Western Railway Station connected you to Newport through the height and the grime of the Victorian Revolution.  On the other side of the track where spoil heaps and the Ironmasters' mansions.  Nantyglo House to the North and Coalbrookevale House to the South.  Only the cellars remain of the Nantyglo House though Coalbrookevale House is still a private dwelling.

Over the side of the tracks you find Mansion, complete with ornamental fountain, the two rows of mature lime trees you see around the site today where planted in the early years of the 20th century.  In 1882 this mansion was home to the Webb family who owned the brewery in Aberbeeg and used the railway to commute to their brewery next door to Aberbeeg Station.  Ironmasters created the thirst in their workers, brewery masters quenched it !!  The allottments you see where part of the Webb Estate giving the footpath to Garn Cross it's name of Nursery Steps.  People still talk of when Coal was King, a river of coal going up stream from the station to the Garn from miners going off shift to their tin baths.

In the 1920's the mansion became Nantyglo Grammer School and further buildings where added, in the 1960's the school became Hafod-y-Ddol Junior Comprehensive before closing in 1986.  Demolition followed with only the lime trees surviving and the site was planted in the 1990's with the now mature saplings that you see today.  Further trees have been planted by N.A.G in recent years.

Also of interest on the right of the map is Boot Row, where Trevor Rowson was born.    

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Website last updated Thursday 3rd September 2020

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