It has been hailed as a ‘world first’ project which is bringing iconic North Wales sites to digital life and it is coming to a place near you! It is said that there is nowhere else in the world where such a project has brought different communities together to cover such a large area.
It includes the birthplace of goal scoring winner Billy Meredith, the Welsh revolutionary hero Owain Glyndwr and the healing saint Winefride and plans are afoot for it now to include the key features of Hope and Caergwrle, with previous the magazine’s ‘Our Heritage’ articles forming part of the heritage content.
The project has developed from an initial twelve digital trails which featured sites across Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire on the Explore North East Wales App which can be viewed on mobile phones and tablets. It has been immensely successful and it is now being expanded.
The original idea came from the rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd which has previously supported a number of heritage projects in our area. The North East Wales Digital Trails app network was set up at a cost of £45,000 through Cadwyn Clwyd which received funding from the Welsh Government through the Rural Development Programme 2014-20 which in turn is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. The project makes use of an app developed by the Bangor-based worldwide specialists Locly and it can be downloaded through the Appstore and Googleplay. The intention is for it to maximise the potential of modern technology to boost tourism in rural communities.
Heritage experts are currently engaged in work to ensure that local features like Hope Parish Church, Hope and Caergwrle Villages, Caergwrle Castle, the Packhorse Bridge and Plas Teg are featured on the app. However, they are looking for much more than this skeletal framework. They really want local people to become involved and make it something that really reflects and does justice to the community as a whole. They want to capture memories and old photographs that tell the stories of Hope and Caergwrle through the eyes of those who know about it.
Heritage expert Jo Danson explained:
“Explore North East Wales is a series of digital trails developed by local communities across Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham to encourage you to explore this fascinating area. Each trail highlights what is special in the area and is packed with photos and stories as well as fun features such as slider puzzles, word searches and selfie frames.”
Hopefully this project will appeal to numerous groups across our community and we can work together to make it something special which represents what we all think is important. Our community came together to create the cascade of poppies down the Church tower – a
fantastic tribute to those who lost their lives in World War One. Perhaps this project will bring everyone together again to ensure that the final product does justice to what we love about our community.
Readers can download the Explore North East Wales App from Google Play or the App Store in order to see the current features that are available.
To become involved please attend the Digital Trail Project Launch at Hope Community Library at 11am on Saturday 14th March 2020. The Library is located on the campus of Castell Alun High School.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the policy of either Flintshire County Council or Hope Community Council. Readers are welcome to contact the author with any news or views on the local heritage at DHealey204@aol.com or by telephoning 01978 761 523.