A GROUP of young offenders are helping make a beauty spot even more beautiful and accessible.
The Moss Valley Country Park, between Gwersyllt and Brynteg, is a former coal mining area that has undergone a dramatic transformation.
It is now a haven of tranquillity, providing a rich habitat for wildlife after the spoil heaps were reclaimed in the 1970s.
A network of footpaths runs along the lakes and through woodland of oak and beech.
The young offenders have started installing seven oak benches throughout the valley as well as clearing footpaths.
They have been ordered by local magistrates to do unpaid work of benefit to the community as a way of paying their dues to society.
The Moss Valley project is supervised by Community Justice Interventions Wales, which works in partnership with the North Wales Probation Area and the local Youth Offending Team.
Community punishment supervisor, Dave Evans, said: “It is a really beautiful spot and a lovely place to come but there’s a lot of work that needs to be done here.
“The young offenders are having to provide their labour free of charge as a way of paying back to the community for what they have done.
“At the same time, they are learning new skills that will hopefully stand them in good stead in the future. We’re using old fashioned techniques to install the benches.
“Rather than using cement or anything caustic, we’re tamping down the soil that we’re taking out and tamping it solid. It’s eco-friendly.”
He added: “They’re also learning to work as part of a team which is very important and will help them later in life.”
Anybody who would like offenders to carry out work in their area can contact the community service area manager, either by ringing 01492 530600 or by writing to North Wales Probation Area, Alexandra House, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 9YF.