The British Newsletter - Edition 3 (Spring 2023)
Welcome to Edition 3 of ‘The British’ newsletter from the Torfaen council project team.
Here you’ll find the latest updates including the progress of investigatory site survey work commissioned in Autumn 2022 as part of Phase 1 works* (This stage is essential in addressing the challenging and historic health and safety hazards at The British and is the first piece in The British Masterplan jigsaw).
An article written by our partners, Gwent Wildlife Trust (GWT) includes news about their new team member plus tips on wildlife spotting.
You can also discover how Welsh not for profit company IDRIS, and Torfaen council are exploring the renewable energy potential of The British.
Please help reduce illegal off-road biking at the site by reporting incidents to Gwent Police. Find out how to do this overleaf!
Councillor Joanne Gauden, Executive Member for Economy, Skills & Regeneration, Torfaen council
Phase 1 Works Update*
Critical on site survey work now complete
In September 2022 we commissioned Quantum Geotechnic Ltd to undertake extensive, crucial site investigatory work. The initial stage of this work which captured subsurface (below ground earth material) data using mechanical equipment on site, was completed during February. The team have now progressed to the laboratory soil sampling testing and analysis stage, due to be completed Spring 2023. The results from all this work will inform the detailed design of the proposed mine entry remediation and above ground (new ponds & watercourse) drainage scheme which we’ll share with the community in due course.
* This first phase has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
Community engagement events well attended
Thank you to everyone who attended the community engagement events held in October 2022. Approximately 50 people came along to meet the Torfaen project team, including a member of staff from GWT. Attendees took the opportunity to discuss the site investigations and latest concept drainage scheme plans, plus view the exhibition and a video. Many thanks to Talywain RFC for hosting us. Look out for more events later in 2023!
Gwent Wildlife Trust: Spring Update
We’re pleased to announce that a new member of staff, Kevin Donovan, has joined the GWT team as The British Community Officer. Kevin will be continuing the programme of free events over the coming months, so be sure to sign up to our mailing list to receive event notifications.
Early spring is a great time for wildlife spotting. Things are just waking up, emerging, or arriving, so plenty to see or hear. The first butterflies to keep an eye out for include the Red Admiral, Peacock and Brimstone, especially on bright sunny days. Along with the large fuzzy Queen Bumblebees, these early pollinators will be searching for Lesser Celandine and Primrose flowers. The Chiffchaff and Skylark are some of the first birds to start calling in the spring, so keep your ears open for their distinctive calls. It’s also worth stopping to peer in any ponds or pools to see if you can spot any mounds of jelly-like frogspawn. As always, we’re also grateful for the work that volunteers undertake at the site.
Find out more about GWT events and activities at www.gwentwildlife.org/events
Exploring the Renewable Energy Potential of The British
IDRIS is a Welsh not for profit company created to regenerate our local economies in a green and sustainable way. We know that Wales has a wealth of resources that can produce substantial amounts of clean renewable cheap energy.
IDRIS and Torfaen Council are working together, with IDRIS undertaking feasibility work to determine how the renewable energy potential of The British can be maximised. The aspiration is to generate green energy from the water that abounds there, as well as exploring the potential for solar and wind power. Energy would be used by the Torfaen community to revitalise the valley, create high quality jobs and new community facilities. Phase one of the development is focused on a thorough investigation of The British to determine the best places to generate the renewable energy required to deliver on any future regeneration plans. This work will also tell us more on the feasibility and viability of such a project. We are committed to keeping the Torfaen community informed of our progress, so, watch this space for more news as it happens
Reporting illegal off-road biking
Call 999 or 101, visit www.gwent.police.uk and complete the online form, or direct Facebook message @gwentpolice
Keep up to date
Last Modified: 03/04/2023
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