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Orchid growing beneath a hedge, near Brymbo

This is a blog about local history, and the history of one place in particular. But as everyone needs some variety, this post will mainly be about natural history.

On the face of it, Brymbo would seem an unpromising area for wildlife of any kind. Coal extraction and steelmaking have dominated the landscape for two centuries, and new houses are now spreading in their wake. Local government policy seems to have targeted much of the community as a site for urbanisation, rather than protection.

Despite this, not everything is as uniformly post-industrial as someone who had never seen the area might think. After all, this was deep countryside for many centuries before the mines and furnaces arrived; and though there were few corners of the township that did not have some sort of industry, most of it was on a much smaller scale than the sprawl of the ironworks. Particularly in the west, the farmland outlasted the scars of mine tailings, quarries and tramways, most of which are now so green and overgrown it can be difficult to spot they were ever there. It still has a rich biodiversity, even now: anyone walking around the lanes of the old township in late spring and early summer, when the pastures are at their best and filled with buttercups, can see many interesting plants or birds.

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This is site about Brymbo, a township once part of Denbighshire, and its history. You can read more about the site in general, start with the most recent posts or with the archives listed below.