Cardiff Model Engineering Society

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Cardiff Model Engineering Society, has made a planning application to extend its track to provide a longer and more interesting ride, through woodland, for our visitors.

The Society provide a very welcome and much appreciated leisure facility for visitors on our Open Days. It providing Live Steam Train and Tram rides for people from Cardiff and the surrounding areas as well as visitors to the City.

The society also operates on a number of occasions for charitable reasons and welcomes The Chernobyl Children's Charity and local disadvantaged children. It provides and runs a small Train and track for several other Charity events such as the Children’s Festival in Coopers Field.

Society members are volunteers, who do not profit from its activities, and although modest charges are made, this is all used in paying rent, rates, insurance, other overheads and the maintenance of our facilities.

The Society is aware that many people use Heath Park or live nearby and may have queries about the proposed development.

Concerns have been expressed about a reduction in public access to parkland. Public access will be maximized by having the track double fenced inside the woodland area and access available to the remainder except on train operating days. The only area to be fenced off from the public will be for reasons of safety.

The proposed track bed running through the woodland is approximately 2 to 4 meters wide and NO mature trees will be affected or chopped down as some people think. The woodland area will be relatively unaffected and still provide public open space which will still provide valuable habitat for wild life with numerous mature and semi mature trees. It will still be an area for quiet enjoyment.

Judging by the number of nesting birds and other wildlife that live on our existing site, the existing railway has little, if any, effect on wildlife. The proposed development would be surrounded wherever possible with suitable hedging plants and would be maintained in a relatively wild state apart from the 2 to 4 meter width band, only, for the safe passage of trains and their passengers.

The Society has sought advice from the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) regarding this development and, as a result, proposes a new pond and a variety of other initiatives to improve the wild life habitat. Some of the members have volunteered to be Newt handlers to ensure that they will not be disturbed.

If this development is approved the many visitors to the railway from Cardiff, other parts of the country and many parts of the world will be able to enjoy a miniature train ride through the woodland of Heath Park.

Planning Application

Design and access

The Site was derelict when the CMES took it over. It was the Site of the old Heath House and its out buildings. The Hall had unfortunately fallen into disrepair and been vandalised. All the buildings were pulled down by the Council.  The Site as you see it today has been totally landscaped and borders and areas planted out. Period style railway buildings form the Stations, Signal Box and Tram Shed. This has all been done by the Members of the CMES and paid for out of the takings on Public Open Days. The Site is maintained by the Members and considerable care is taken with all safety aspects of the area.

To run the Site safely on a Public Open Day takes over 40 Members giving up at least 8 hours of their time to provide a safe and enjoyable experience and day out for the public. Our aim with this extension is, at no extra cost to the public, to enhance this experience.