Roots to Shoots

Roots to Shoots is our big community project. Although it links with the 300 Million Year Story it’s less about visitors and more about those of us who live here. The common theme is the way our natural, industrial and human history have shaped – and continue to shape – our lives. 

In 2016 we talked with a range of residents and community groups to understand ideas for making use of the ex industrial spaces that got left behind after our heavy industries went, spaces that can’t be built on but can be played on, walked on, enjoyed and interpreted for generations to come.

We initially used the title ‘Reclaiming our spaces’ but we realised that it’s not just about reclaiming them – it’s about loving them, using, nurturing them, celebrating them, and so on. So we renamed it ‘Roots to Shoots’ – our villages share the same industrial heritage based on the rocks and minerals under our feet, and now we’re planning to bring new uses (and new people) to them as shoots of growth.

By the Autumn of 2016 we were able to start putting these ideas into writing and marking them up on a map. We collated these and considered how the range of ideas for different spaces could be joined up to make a cohesive single project. We put the resulting plan to the Lottery on 7th December 2016. We’ve summarised it here:

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CYS trifold - English

Our 3 minute video about ‘Roots to Shoots’ is here. Take a look 🙂

In March 2017 we had a lovely surprise visit by John Rose, Director for Wales of the BIG Lottery Fund. We found out that we’d been awarded just under £2m as one of only 6 projects in Wales to gain a share of £9m of Lottery Funding and Welsh Government Dormant Accounts Funding. The funding programme is called ‘Create Your Space’.

We set our team up in August 2017. We now have four staff that can help you to get stuck in and make this project work the way you want it to:

Paul Tincello oversees the project and leads our ecology and renewable energy projects. Contact him via

Sue Perry leads our work in Moss Valley, Tanyfron and Lodge and she can be contacted via

Tom Taylor is leading our work on learning, the narrow gauge railway project, and the work around Brymbo Pool and Bronwen’s Green. Drop him a line at

Gareth Venn is pioneering our work with play and the development of playable spaces. Contact him at

The project runs right through to 2024, so there’s plenty of time to get involved and help us to make this all happen. Checkout our Facebook page at, email us at, or ring any of us on 0800 772 0981 to get chatting 🙂

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