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December 11th 2002


By Justine Bailey, Abergele Visitor



WALKERS will soon be able to enjoy woodland paths which have been forgotten for many years thanks to a group set up to save a crumbling castle.

Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust has announced plans to restore almost four miles of paths which were made famous by travellers of the early Victorian era.

In a report to members of the Trust, secretary Mark Baker said it is hoping work will start on the Abergele pathways early in the New Year.

"The grounds were laid out in the 1820s by Lord Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh and contain several paths which were made famous by travellers of the early Victorian era," he said.

"We have uncovered what was an area called 'The Nest', a large alcove carved out of the rock face which was once used for ornamental planting and ferns. The work will be done over a number of weekends by volunteers from the trust."

Meanwhile Mr Baker said the Trust has also made good progress in other areas of the castle's development.

"With regard to the Compulsory Purchase Order, the issue was placed before the Economic Regeneration Panel of Conwy Council who decided the matter should be deferred until the Trust has completed a feasibility study," he said.

Mr Baker added the public has shown a lot of interest in the castle this year and consequently membership of the Trust has grown.

"My Gwrych Castle exhibition in Abergele Library during August received a very positive and enthusiastic response from the public who were unanimously supportive of the Trust's work," he said.

This Saturday the Trust is holding a Christmas fair at the Community Centre in Abergele.

From 10am until 3pm visitors will be able to browse around the many stalls which will include crafts, brica-brac and books. There will also be an exhibition, games, raffle and tombola. Admission is 40p and includes refreshments.

Meanwhile the trust's annual dinner will be held at Abergele Golf Club on December 19th.

©Mark Baker 2003