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Lledr Valley Pont-y-Pant Conwy_County Wales
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Gwydyr Forest covers the hillsides on the west bank of the Conwy Valley in Snowdonia, North Wales. The forest stretches south from Dolgarrog past Llanrwst, Trefriw, and Betws y Coed to the hills above Penmachno. To the south west the forest reaches through the Lledr Valley covering Cwm Penamnen and the southern slopes of Moel Siabod. Above and beyond the valley slopes lies an extensive rolling upland of wooded knolls, pastures, and lakes, that stretch to Snowdonia's eastern flank. Take a walk along the winding lanes above Trefriw and Gwydyr to Llyn Crafnant, or Llyn Geirionydd and go back in time to those childhood days of rolling fields and wild meadow flowers. The forest has a mixture of habitats and species and is a key site to watch wildlife with a variety of birds, mammals and plants. Buzzards, Goshawks, Peregrines and Merlin have all been sighted and Black Grouse can be seen in Gwydyr South. An early rise may be rewarded with sightings of Roe or Fallow deer. A wide variety of butterflies can be seen including Common Blue, Dark green Fritillaries, Red Admiral, Speckled wood, Meadow brown,and Large skipper. The micro climates of the valley floors and the upland oak woodlands encourage the growth of mosses, ferns, and lichen. Explore the extensive tracks and trails and you will find woodland glades that are carpeted with emerald green mosses and a variety of ferns and lichen that are not content with forming ground cover but climb high into the trees. History buffs will enjoy discovering the ancient miners tracks that lead to ruined buildings and the old engine-houses of the now redundant Lead and Zinc mines to be found in the hills above Trefriw. Or take the path from Betws y Coed and climb the steep hill to Llyn Elsi and discover the abandoned village of Rhiwddolion deep in the forest. One of my personal favourites is to take the trail to Wybrnant and discover the grand old house of Bishop William Morgan renowned for translating the bible into Welsh. It is worth visiting the Gwydyr Forest for the peace and beauty of the Wybrnant Valley alone. The picture was taken on the hills above the Lledr Valley between Pont-y-Pant and Wybrnant and looks toward Moel Siabod with Mount Snowdon in the distant background.
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