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Moss Valley, Wrexham

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Moss Valley, Wrexham

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The Moss Valley is an area in the county borough of Wrexham, North East Wales, United Kingdom. The area is also informally known as "The Moss" and "The Aggey" amongst locals. It is most well known for its extensive coal mining history.

History
Throughout the 19th Century and early 20th Century, the Moss Valley was the home to the Westminister Colliery. It consisted of both traditional and open cast techniques. The coal was distributed both locally and nationally through major railway links, much of which was built specifically for the distribution of goods. The colliery's railways were linked to neighbouring Great Western Railways lines, through a tunnel leading to Gwersyllt, and it is reckoned the tunnel is still visible. Much of the local working force relied on these colieries for both income and fuel. The colliery closed in February 1925, but the reminants of the industry were not removed until the early 1970s. It closed mainly due to water leakage, but this was the beginning of a declining industry.

Return to nature
In the early 1970s, it was decided that the area should be returned to nature, and grants were given to re-generate the area. Most of the shafts were sealed, and over 10 miles of railway tracks were removed from the valley, leaving many unused bridges and tunnels. The main project however was to create two lakes at the centre of the valley (where a stream already existed from a natural source). Much of this land was scarred by the vigorous mining techniques, and the task was thought impossible. However, due to the money received and need for regeneration, the task was completed in 1973. The finished area now included two lakes (one large boating lake complete with boat storage, and one smaller lake designated for local wildlife and includes a large island at the centre), a children's playground, public toilets, a golf club, facilities for fishing and various benches and picnic tables.

Decline
Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the park was subject to a high level of vandalism. Many of the public features, including picnic benches, litter bins, gates and jetties, were forced to be removed after being in a state of "beyond repair".

When Wrexham CBC took over from Clwyd County Council in 1996, many cuts were scheduled. From that year, the boating lake ceased to serve its original purpose, and its storage facilities and jetty were removed. In 2000, the council announced that the public toilets had suffered severe vandalism, and were closed in 2001, possibly making cleaning staff redundant. After much vandalism and fly tipping, the fishing plinths and existing park benches were removed. Furthermore, the existing golf course moved from its existing location in the valley to just over the road, in the Moss Village. The area's two public houses closed in the late 90's due to lack of custom and the area's high crime rate.

Restoration
However, in early 2004, the area was given a large re-generation boost, yet again, but most controversially, fishing would only be permitted to permit holders only. Both lakes were thouroghly cleaned, and large mounds of debris from the two were formed. Many paths were given new surfaces, information signs and benches were erected, and bridges were repaired. The former boating lake was given a new lease of life and became "The Nature Lake", and hundreds of water plants, including Bulrushes and Water Lillies, were added to the once murky water. Many species of fish and ducks can now be found in the lakes, a sure sign of an improvement. Many of the former railway trackbeds were transformed into nature walks, and steps were installed on banks. Gates and fences were erected to prevent the use of motorvehicles in the lake areas. However, both the toilets and former "boat-house" remain empty. In 2005, the playground was gradually removed, but it is not yet known whether it is to be replaced. At July 2006, all that remains of the playground is a single slide. The major funding of this project came from a local company, Groundworks V, who have also funded various other projects in the region.

The area is now an official country park, and attracts many visitors including those interested in its industrial history and its wildlife amongst its waters and woodlands. It highly successful golf club still provides to its newer course, just over the road from the original one (now a free "pitch and putt" 9-hole course).

 Pubs/Bars:
 Bird In Hand Hotel
       Woodlands Road
       Moss
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL11 6BD

 The Clayton Arms
       Moss Hill
       Moss
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL11 6ES

 Grapes Inn
       Francis Road
       Moss
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL11 6EB

 The Kings Head
       Moss Road
       Moss
       Wrexham
       Clwyd
       LL11 6HA


 

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