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Glyndwr university has officially restored an ancient woodland at Northop campus


AN ancient woodland on Glyndwr University’s Northop campus has officially been restored.

Coed Llys, 15 hectares of woodland, has been restored to recover its ecological value and after a recent visit from Coed Cadw Woodland Trust compartments are now classified as a Restored Ancient Woodland.

Wrexham Glyndwr University owns the wood which is situated on their Northop campus and includes a range of archaeological and historical ancient monuments including Wat’s Dyke, Bronze Age Coed Llys Stones and a medieval fortified house of Llys Edwin.

David Skydmore, principal lecturer in Biology and Environment, helped secure grant funding from Better Woodland for Wales with help from Flintshire County Council’s woodland officer.

Dr Skydmore said: “Coed Llys was open woodland and in the 1960s it was cleared out and deteriorated considerably through conifer planting and felling of oak trees, but now the advantages of a deciduous woodland are more recognised, so it’s been put back into its natural ecosystem.

“We had to be very careful, with the planning and actual restoration of the wood, to ensure we didn’t affect the ancient monument.

“The restoration has also helped our students on various courses from Ecology, Geography to History – this can enhance our students’ experience. This is fantastic news for the campus and for the future potential for tree and woodland science. There is more work to do but this is a very important step forward.”

The grant was secured in 2012 and after a long planning process work it was completed in winter 2014. Coed Llys was then reassessed last month, giving the woodland time to heal, and is now identified on the Ancient Woodland Inventory

Richard Lewis, senior lecturer in Rural Studies at Glyndwr’s Northop campus, led the restoration work which included selective felling and thinning of conifers and parts of the wood were cleared to waste, where trees are felled but left on the ground for insects, small mammals and birds.

Richard, who has worked on the campus for 30 years, said: “There’s a big difference from a few years ago, there’s much more understory compared to before the restoration.

“It’s much more open now letting bluebells and other flora flourish.

“The ancient woodland restoration officer loved this wood and said he’s coming back soon to visit. He also took our students down to the site so they can see how they assess woodlands.

“It was a great chance for them to make a key contact for their future careers as well as a great opportunity to use the woodland for their studies.”

Wrexham Glyndwr University are hoping to restore further areas of the woodland in the future.

For more information visit the university’s Northop campus page.