Posted: Sat 30th Jul 2022

Have you visited Dee Park in Shotton recently? There have been lots of changes over the past 12 months.

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jul 30th, 2022

There have been lots of changes at Dee Park community woodland in Shotton over the past 12 months.

The history of Dee Park is intertwined with Shotton Steelworks.

Hundreds of local people would have walked across the park each day en route to the steelworks, which employed over 13,000 people at its peak in the 1960s.

Sport is a key part of its history too. It was once home to Connah’s Quay and Shotton football team.

They moved to the site in 1928, and went on to win both the Welsh National League (North) championship and the prestigious Welsh Cup in 1929.

In the final they defeated First Division Cardiff City 3-0 at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground.

The sporting links continued from the 1950s when the site formed part of the sports facilities provided by the Steelworks for its employees.

Many local people have memories of playing or watching cricket and football here.

The links with the steelworks have continued, with Tata apprentices regularly helping on site and volunteers planting an avenue of trees.

However in recent times, Dee Park had been neglected and subject to anti-social behaviour.

It became a haunt for drug users who left debris and whose presence, along with litter and dog mess, put others off from using the site.

Care and Repair North East Wales took over the land in 2018 when they moved to the Steelworks Sports and Social Club and aim to develop Dee Park as a relaxing and safe place for local people to enjoy and where wildlife thrives.

Since November 2021, a Community Woodland grant from the National Lottery Heritage and Welsh Government plus further support through the Plant! Scheme (which aims to plant a tree for every child born in Wales) has enabled the team from Care and Repair to transform the site.

5500 native trees have been planted by the local community in four woodland compartments and in hedgerows bordering the site.

This little pocket of woodland is now part of the National Forest for Wales; which is an ambitious plan to create a connected ecosystem of ancient and new woodland across Wales.

Dee Park Community Woodland connects and links up to the existing mature woodland surrounding the park. This increases the quality of the woodland habitat and consequently its resilience to climate change. 

Dee Park is already a haven for wildlife with resident badgers, moles, common lizards, butterflies and many different species of bird.

In the early summer, the meadow areas are full of colourful wildflowers which attract many butterflies and other insects and come autumn the mature woodlands and orchard turn beautiful shades of orange, red and brown.

As our newly planted trees mature, the biodiversity of the park will be further enhanced as they provide more habitats for a wider range of wildlife at Dee Park.

In addition to planting and mulching whips, volunteers have helped us plant an avenue of standard trees, pick up litter, plant a basketry willow bed, record the wildlife of the site and much more.

As a result of the works carried out on Dee Park, a much-needed accessible green space has been created within a short walk of Shotton.

The accessible circular path that borders the site has made Dee Park much more manageable for pram and wheelchair users.

There has been lots of feedback from locals about the new green space, one Shotton resident said; 

“What an amazing transformation already… can’t wait to see it finished and watch it get better and more beautiful each season.”

“Such a wise investment to create a beautiful space for families and recreation and quite honestly the best thing to combat the space being used by unsavoury elements.”

“Where the police have struggled; this community project is succeeding and thriving…. such a credit to all those who have worked on it.”

“Thank you for providing this community with a safer and more beautiful space for our families to enjoy.”

“The best thing to happen in a time of hardship and difficulty… finally something to feel good about”

During the summer holidays, the ranger is running a number of events, including biological surveys to record the wildlife of the park and a fun family nature trail. Why not have a walk down and take a look?

Would you like to get involved?

There would be no Dee Park community woodland without our volunteers!

If you want to get involved they would love to hear from you.

Make contact via social media pages, Twitter: @DeeParkWood or email the Dee Park Ranger at [email protected].

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