The Friends of Bailey Hill, Mold, have had a very productive year organising a series of monthly ‘Odd-Job Days’, doing small tasks in the less-used and wilder parts of the park. We work to a schedule agreed with Flintshire County Council (FCC) and implemented under a 12-month, formal licence. We cleared the south face of the motte in the spring and added many native wild flowers to the motte and other banks.
To give an immediate biodiversity boost, we’ve added 17 new nest-boxes and repaired a dozen older ones. To add colour and nectar for bees, we’ve planted 2,500 bulbs and corms, using wilder species in the further reaches and more cultivated pre-1940s ones in the formal areas. Next we will add some bat-boxes, with advice from North Wales Wildlife Trust.
We are keen to rid the park of any hidden old rubbish.
We’re doing some small-scale and subtle habitat-management and biodiversity-boosting in the wilder areas. Work has to be light-touch and non-invasive, because ‘Mold Castle’ is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. Also, many people value the wilder areas and do not want them to become too manicured.
As members of the Bailey Hill steering group with FCC and Mold Town Council, the Friends have invested much time and effort contributing to the tripartite group deliberations and decisions.
The Bailey Hill project officer, Jo Lane, is organising an interpretation and activities programme including poetry workshops and training volunteers interested in researching Bailey Hill’s history.
Friends’ own research
As an independent charity, The Friends are also pursuing some research of our own. We are focusing on the pre-Norman history of the site and the Welsh princes’ relationship with, and use, of it. Its development as a park when it was privately owned (by the Swimmer-Champneys and Mostyn families) is also of interest to us. The Hill’s re-shaping into a flourishing public park in the 1920s/1930s needs more analysis, and we will study how other small parks with a strong heritage component elsewhere are managed.
Lending the Friends a hand
Report by Eira Hughes, Chair, Friends of Bailey Hill Ffrindiau Bryn Y Beili.