Flintshire County Council Countryside Rangers teamed up with colleagues from Flintshire Streetscene in a bid to restore the old Station Bridge in Holywell to its former glory.
The bridge, built in 1868 by Holywell Railway Company, is where the main footpath extends the length of the valley, following the line of a standard gauge railway.
Holywell Town Station opened in 1912. ‘The Little Train’ as it was known was a busy steam engine and due to a gradient of 1:27 was the steepest conventional passenger railway in Great Britain, until its closure in 1954.
This grand bridge now serves as one of the main entrances to Greenfield Valley Heritage Park.
A 70 acre park of woodlands, reservoirs, ancient monuments and industrial history.
In recent years the bridge had become overgrown with ivy, buddleia and trees which had grown into the stonework, roots pushing the stonework apart.
The combined skills of the Team were put to good use clearing the encroaching greenery, loose masonry was removed, and the integrity of the bridge was checked.
Large trees growing close to the bridge were also removed giving a 2 metre access route for future maintenance works.
Overhanging branches were also removed.
A spokesperson for Greenfield Valley Heritage Park said:
“This time of year is the best time to manage green spaces reducing the impact to wildlife.
Maintenance works such as these are vital for the long-term structural integrity of the old railway bridges.
Greenfield Valley Trust and Flintshire Countryside Services are grateful to Flintshire Streetscene for their hard work and support funding the project.
Support was also received from Tesco, who kindly provided lunch for the workers.”
Greenfield Valley Chair of Trustees, Gwladys Harrison, said:
The Valley paths to and from Holywell and Greenfield are well used and valued by all.
The difference this work has made is incredible opening the bridge up to look bigger and cleaner and showing the workmanship taken to build it.
Such maintenance is important for access and integrity of the bridges.
On behalf of the trust, I would like to thank all those involved for their hard work to clear Old Station Bridge of its encroaching greenery, particularly Flintshire’s Streetscene for funding the work and joining forces with our onsite Rangers.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene and Countryside, Councillor Carolyn Thomas, said:
This is highly valued and skilled work done by two of Flintshire’s services combining resources; Streetscene and Countryside. Such maintenance is necessary for access, safety and longevity of our bridges.
I am grateful to ball those involved in the works to Holywell’s Station Bridge preserving its integrity.