Volunteers wanted for restoration project

On Sunday, December 16th recruits are invited to work alongside volunteers from The Green Valleys and representatives from Glandŵr Cymru – the Canal & River Trust in Wales – to start removing overhanging ivy and brambles on the Watton Limekilns in Brecon.

Their work will mean that a better assessment can be made of the condition of the listed building and its important features. Volunteers will also begin work improving the habitat of the woodland on the land directly above the kilns in order to increase its value to local wildlife. Glandŵr Cymru is keen to hear from anyone who knows about how the kilns were used or has any old photographs showing the kilns.

The Watton Limekilns in Brecon project is being carried out by Glandŵr Cymru and The Green Valleys, and supported by Keep Wales Tidy’s Wild Weekend for Wales project as well as Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority.

Alan Sumnall, Volunteer Co-ordinator for Glandŵr Cymru, said: “There are kilns all along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal and they are such an important part of the story of how the canal was used in the past. Glandŵr Cymru want to make sure these important historic features are retained for the future and the kilns in Brecon are now in need of some care and attention. We are very keen to hear from anyone who knows anything about how the kilns were used or has any old photographs showing the kilns, as we don’t have a full record on the kilns’ use.”

Gareth Ellis, Community Project Manager for The Green Valleys said: “We’re delighted with the partnership approach to this project, and to give the local community the chance to get involved in conserving their local heritage.”

Martin Buckle, Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority’s Member Champion for Heritage, said: “The production of lime from the many limekilns along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal, and indeed other locations, was once an important local industry. Through its use to make lime mortar, it helped to shape our towns and villages and, through its use as a soil improver, our farmed landscapes too. Each of the bodies concerned recognises this aspect of our common cultural heritage, and it’s great to be celebrating it in this way.”

If you are interested in coming along to lend a hand, or just see the kilns, volunteers are meeting at the site which can be accessed along the canal track just beyond the Brecon Rugby Club pitch from 10:00 on Sunday 16th December. If you’d like to help out, please contact Gareth Ellis, Community Projects Manager for The Green Valleys on 01874 611039.

If you would like to find out how to volunteer along the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal please contact Volunteer Co-ordinator Alan Sumnall on 07920-534-098, email Alan.Sumnall@canalrivertrust.org.uk or visit the website here.