Following the establishment of the Steering Group last year, funding was raised for a Scoping Study (£5,000- with many thanks to Cadwyn Clwyd, Tir Mostyn Wind Farm, Llanrhaeadr Commumity Council, Llanrhaeadr Church, Pentre Motors, Llanefydd Church, private donors and everyone who attended and donated food and prizes to the Breakfast).
With assistance from Cadwyn Clwyd, a firm of architects experienced in historical sites was appointed (Purcell); our architects, Matt and Elgan, are based at Tal-y-Cafn. The proposals for the well, Bath and surrounding woodlands were outlined at a public consultation in May and the final report issued soon after. An important element was to ensure 'a light touch' approach to the proposed work and this has come through in the report, as can be seen from the following extract from the executive summary:
“The intention is to minimise any intervention whether in relation to the conservation works or the access improvement works. The structures are to be conserved as found with limited small scale interventions to improve safety. Analysis of the historic routes through the site have allowed proposals to reinstate many of these..… as well as providing additional pathways to allow for greater accessibility for a wider section of the community.”
The next step is to 'fix' the weakened bridge adjacent to the Bath to prevent its collapse and we are now fund-raising for this (estimated £3,600 - all donations welcome). We plan to organise this as a two-day 'event' so that people can see how such work is carried out and get directly involved – we'll advertise it when we know what is happening and when.
In addition to this the Group will be forming a charitable company, entering into a lease with the landowner, planning future fund-raising and applying for grants. The projected costs total around £220,000 and so we will be applying for grant funding. Although the project has been developed in such a way that the work can be phased over time, it is proposed to apply for the full amount so as to be able to present all aspects of the project to potential funders – heritage, conservation, environmental, access, educational, cultural, spiritual and , of course, community.
Not surprisingly, concern has been expressed about the amount of money involved. This is a great opportunity to restore not only the area around the Well and Bath but the whole of this woodland area. Unfortunately it is not possible to 'do it ourselves' as in addition to the liability and safety issues involved in working in such an area, there are engineering matters to be resolved eg in footpath and bridge works. However the intention is that, where possible, volunteers will be involved in the work; this will not only reduce the costs but will increase the opportunity for community involvement.