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Shotton Works Nature Reserve opens new trail to schools at Tata Steel

A NEW nature trail is being opened – at a steelworks site.

The Shotton Works Nature Reserve, created by Tata Steel, is now open to school groups.

Last Friday a class from Sealand Primary School joined the Tata Steel environment team to celebrate the opening.

Alun Price, access and recreation officer for the Countryside Council for Wales, which helped fund the project, performed the official opening watched by Deeside councillors Ann Minshull, Doreen Mackie and Bernie Attridge.

The new trail consists of a mile-long circular walking route, allowing children to see wildlife and on the lagoons and reed beds within the conservation area.

An indoor classroom has also been created by volunteers from Tata Steel who gave up their spare time during the year-long project.

The area is recognised nationally as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of its reed bed habitat and summer nesting sites for the common tern.

The man-made lagoons are used for circulating clean factory water from the works to the River Dee and over time a number of species have made them their home.

Ian Russon – health, safety, energy and environment manager for Tata Steel in Shotton – said: “This is a unique habitat that demonstrates how industry and nature can co-exist in harmony.

“Visiting children can see the industrial heritage while exploring the natural environment and discovering wildlife.”