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Countryside Council for Wales
Landscape & wildlife Please note - A new body, Natural Resources Wales has taken over all functions and services previously carried out by Countryside Council for Wales. While the Natural Resources Wales website continues to be developed, some online services will continue to be provided on this web site.


This remote upland landscape occupies the westerly slopes of the Berwyn Mountains which divide North from Mid-Wales.

Photo ©YACP


Ref number: HLW (C) 3

Os Map: Landranger 125

Unitary authority: Denbighshire (Powys)

The area comprises tracts of rolling moorland pasture lying to the south east of the Dee valley, overlooking Llandrillo and towards the Snowdonian massif beyond in the west.

On the east side of the area, the central ridge of the Berwyn Mountains reaches a height of 827m at the summits of Cader Berwyn and Moel Sych, but westwards the ground slopes gradually in a series of ridges, before dropping steeply into Cwm Pennant which adjoins the area on the west.

In recent years, a combination of aerial photography and archaeological fieldwork has revealed a well-preserved relict landscape of historical agriculture, comprising extensive areas of field systems extending for over 3km above Cwm Pennant. The banks, ditches, enclosures and habitation sites of these field systems are believed to be variously of prehistoric and medieval origin.

A full published description for this landscape area is available as a pdf download within the Related Articles section below.

Principal area designations:

The greater part of the area is within Berwyn National Nature Reserve and Berwyn Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Criteria: 2

Contents and significance:

An upland area situated above the Dee valley on the western side of the Berwyn Mountains, containing extensive and well-preserved relict evidence of land use from the prehistoric, medieval and later periods, including Bronze Age settlements, field systems and groups of ritual stone monuments overlain in parts by medieval and later habitation sites and field systems, the whole having a significant potential for further study and representing one of the best preserved landscapes of its type in central Wales.

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