CCW welcomes Welsh Government decision to confirm Clwydian
Range and Dee Valley AONB
“National recognition, but local management
will be the key,” says CCW Chairman Morgan Parry.
Castell Dinas Bran Photo Courtesy of Denbighshire County Council
Enjoying the outdoor classroom on the banks of the River Dee ©Wrexham CBC.
The beautiful River Dee on a tranquil autumn day ©Denbighshire
Many centuries of tending the land have produced the beautiful landscape we see today, Vale of Llangollen, ©J.Briggs,CCW.
The stunning limestone scenery of the Eglwysegs provides a distinctive backdrop, ©C.Rothwell, CCW.
The dramatic Horseshoe Pass provides a route from the Vale into a different world of the open moorlands ©Denbighshire.
By boat or on foot, visitors enjoying the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site ©Denbighshire.
Breathtaking views of the Vale of Llangollen can be enjoyed even on a snowy day ©Denbighshire.
The dramatic ruins of Castell Dinas Bran, keep watch over the Vale of Llangollen ©Denbighshire.
THE Countryside Council for Wales today (Tuesday 22 November
2011) welcomed the Welsh Government’s decision to extend the
Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Beauty, to include southern
parts of the Clwydian Range, the Vale of Llangollen and parts of
the Dee Valley.
The decision follows a statutory consultation process,
undertaken by the Countryside Council for Wales.
CCW Chairman Morgan Parry said: “We are delighted with the
decision, which confirms all the evidence provided that this is
truly an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whilst the designation
gives the area the national recognition it deserves, the key to its
success will rest with local management.
“We now look forward to working with the local authorities of
Wrexham, Flintshire and Denbighshire, their local communities and
landowners, to realise the environmental, social and economic
opportunities of this national designation - so that all sectors of
society benefit from the sustainable management of the natural
The Clwydian Range AONB Management Service has an excellent
track record in implementing and funding sustainable environmental
enhancement projects – experience that can now be drawn on for the
benefit of a wider area. CCW will now start detailed discussions
with the local authorities on the resources and administrative
arrangements required for the future management of the Clwydian
Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as a
For further information, please contact Helen Evans, CCW PR
Officer on 01248 387377 or 07717225589, or Brân Devey on 02920
772403 or 07747767443.
NOTES TO EDITORS
What’s special about the newly extended
The landscapes of Esclusham, Ruabon, and Llantysilio Mountains;
the Vale of Llangollen and the Dee Valley are of outstanding
quality, nationally and internationally important for their natural
beauty and equally worthy of protection as an AONB. Being
physically and visually connected to the existing designated
Clwydian Range AONB, the extension area, will be managed as part of
a greater whole – benefiting from a coherent and sustainable
approach determined over the long term by a statutory management
The extension area’s underlying geology characterised by slates,
shales and limestones, has given rise to an unusually large range
of landscape types and elements. The Southern Clwydian Range
includes striking linear limestone outcrops and woods, ancient
enclosed valley pastures and wetlands, and the narrow rolling open
moorland ridge of Llantysilio. The Vale of Llangollen and Dee
Valley form an iconic landscape of truly exceptional scenic
quality. The Valley and surrounding uplands were formed by
faulting, mass movement and later sculpted by glaciers. The most
striking natural feature is Eglwyseg Crags, which support the most
impressive set of limestone screes anywhere in Britain.
What’s special about the Clwydian Range?
The Clwydian Range is notable for its high ridge of heather clad
hills that dominate the small hedged fields and coppice woodland of
the lower slopes. Impressive limestone outcrops burst through the
surface in a number of places forming attractive wooded escarpments
and wildflower rich limestone grasslands. The hills are cut in
places by deep valleys carrying the area's two main rivers, the
Alyn and the Wheeler, often disappearing under ground into hidden
water courses amongst the limestone landscapes.
The varied landscape of the Clwydian Range AONB supports a rich
mix of wildlife and habitats. It has a wealth of archaeological and
historic remains, dating from the early prehistoric period right
through to the Second World War. Many archaeological sites are
Scheduled Ancient Monuments and are protected through Cadw: Welsh
Historic Monuments. The archaeological imprints left on the
landscape show us that people and communities are as much a part of
the landscape as the flowers and wildlife.
Tourism, the AONB and Denbighshire’s rural
The outstanding landscape of the Clwydian Range AONB is a major
factor in attracting tourism to the area. Tourism is a major
contributor to Denbighshire’s economy. Rural Denbighshire had
1.58million day visitors in 2006, and 365,000 overnight visits. The
total revenue from tourism in Denbighshire is more than £91million,
with the rural visitor economy supporting 1,770 jobs. *
* The Countryside Council for Wales is a Welsh Government
Sponsored Body, working for a better Wales where everyone values
and cares for our natural environment www.ccw.gov.uk.