AHNE Bryniau Clwyd / Clwydian Range AONB

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News and events

  • Out & About 2017

    05.05.2017

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     http://www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk/events/  Our Out & About  2017 Programme offers a range of ways to enjoy the stunning landscape and heritage of the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and surrounding Countryside.  Out & About  is the essential guide to Family Fun, Guided walks and Practicle Activities in the AONB.

  • Upon the Horizon - Warden's Blog

    02.05.2017

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    Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty...but how does its beauty speak to us? What is it when we look towards the horizon that moves us? There seems to be something there, in the distance, something that seems to foreshadow it all, or maybe not, maybe it's us trying to say something ourselves, trying to make sense of it all, wanting it to speak but instead just feeling what can't be said.

    You go to burial mounds atop hills such as Moel Y Gamelin and think maybe our ancestors felt it too, were asking the same questions. Something like, "I'll bury you here, because over the horizon might be another place where you go, and from here I'll be able to see where you might have gone. From here I see my world comes to an end and so another might begin where we'll be together once more."

    Such might be one possible narrative that connects us to the landscape, one way its vast beauty may "speak" to us, or rather, becomes the canvas onto which all of our hopes and dreams are projected. Our love for the Countryside stems from something deeper than a mere pleasant appreciation of its beauty, but from an associative well of feeling and memory that give this beauty a perceivable language, a palpable expression of time and place that distinguishes a place like the Dee Valley from any other.

    Be it paintings, poetry or photographs, people are moved into trying to capture and express the beauty of Our Picturesque Landscape, ours because it is our story to tell, the communities who have made it their home, whose own hopes and dreams are somehow left hanging upon the horizon, resonating from the past forever into the future.

    Looking towards this future, a project, developed in partnership with various authorities and organizations and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to reconnect local communities with the landscape of the Dee Valley and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site. Now nearing the end of its 14 month Development Phase, Our Picturesque Landscape centres on the legacy of the Picturesque Movement, safeguarding key sites popularised by an aesthetic appreciation that inspired artists and poets such as Turner and Wordsworth along with great engineering minds such as Telford.

    With its success, however, local communities have become increasingly alienated from the benefits of the landscape at their own doorstep, Our Picturesque Landscape aiming to allow greater opportunity for both present and future generations to take a more active role in its legacy, be it through improved access to key sites or by getting people involved in a programme of events celebrating local heritage.

    Aron Richard Roberts

    Trainee Countryside Warden

  • A unique Training Opportunity for those looking to improve their employment prospects in the Outdoor Sector Based in the Dee Valley Llangollen

    25.04.2017

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    A unique Training Opportunity for those looking to improve their employment prospects in the Outdoor Sector – Based in the Dee Valley Llangollen

    Becoming an outdoor instructor is one of the most fulfilling and exciting jobs in the area. Being an instructor enables you to introduce people to challenging, exciting new activities in incredible landscapes. Working with Snowdonia Active the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AON have put together a unique training programme that will provides an exciting opportunity for those looking to begin a career in the outdoor sector or enhance their skills.

    The course content will provide you with sufficient qualifications to deliver basic water based activities such as canoeing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. In addition, the course will enable you to gain first hand knowledge from local experts on the environments you will be instructing in.

    Subsidised by the supporting organisation this course is available at 75% cost price - an incredible £280!

    Paddlesports Leader - 17th and 18th May 2017 - 10 spaces

    The Paddlesport Leader is aimed at paddlers taking on formal leadership responsibilities in benign, sheltered water environments. It will qualify you to lead all lower ability paddlers in any form of paddlesports craft including canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards (SUPs), crew boats and straight running boats.

    REC First Aid - 22nd and 23rd May 2017 - 10 spaces

    The essential first aid course to authenticate your paddlesport leader qualification. A practical two day first aid course designed for people who work in the outdoors or who use the outdoors for pleasure. No previous first aid experience necessary. This course will take place in an outdoor environmental with scenarios designed to simulate those you could be faced with whilst guiding groups in the outdoors.

    Whitewater Rescue Technician PRO - 26th, 27th and 28th May 2017 - 10 spaces

    The Whitewater Rescue Technician - Professional (WRT-PRO) is based over 3 days and designed for students who work on the river in a professional capacity e.g Raft Guides, Safety Kayakers, Kayak / Canoe Instructors etc.

    The course is recognised by many outdoor operators as a pre -requisite for Gorge Walking, Canyoning and Sea level Traversing.

    Enhancing Environmental Learning - 19th May 2017 - 20 spaces

    This workshop will introduce you to Environmental Learning Cards which have been created to help engage people in environmental learning anywhere outdoors.

    This workshop is fully interactive and hands on. Through it we will be discovering four themes – Awareness & Experience, Explore & Understand, Create & Share and Sustain & Conserve. The four themes cover a total of 26 activities including plant discovery, literature in the environment, making a solar kettle, minibeast models and fire making.

    'Pulling the Plug' on the Llangollen Canal - 5th June 2017 - 20 spaces

    A bespoke session specifically pulling together experts on the Llangollen Canal World Heritage Site to share information you can then use when delivering paddling sessions. This activity will take place paddling in an open canoe on the canal to enable trainees and established activity providers to learn more about the history of the canal, flora, fauna, environmental best practice, wildlife and geological highlights which can be seen from the canal. This session will complement a waterproof field guide being created for canals. This session is for trainees and established activity providers.

    Dee Valley on Water - 13th June 2017 – 18 spaces

    The best way to learn about the river is on the water! This unique session has been designed specifically for this course. Trainees and established activity providers will be lead down the river whitewater rafting alongside environmental experts. You will learn about the ecology of the river and river banks, learn about the geological highlights which can be seen from the river and the history of the stone bridges which cross the river Dee which also gaining insight to the unique qualities of the AONB.

    To secure a places please contact Ceri Lloyd on ceri.lloyd@denbighshire.gov.uk

    Places are limited so please book early

  • Preserving the Past, Preparing for the Future

    15.02.2017

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    By preserving the past, we prepare for the future. One of the greater challenges faced here in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB is safeguarding the area's special qualities while simultaneously meeting the demands of the present age.

    Such is the challenge faced at Cyrn-y-Brain, a large area of upland heath to the north of Llangollen, where work had to be carried out to protect a Bronze Age burial mound by diverting part of the Offa's Dyke National Trail running through it.

    Now set a few meters around the Scheduled Ancient Monument, further work was recently undertaken to improve this section of the path, with more stone slabs replacing that of timber sleepers as a more durable and attractive solution to providing ease of access without causing further damage to this Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

    Compared to the picturesque sites of Velvet Hill or Castell Dinas Brân, Cyrn-y-Brain possesses a different kind of beauty, one that, while possibly not as easily photogenic, is bolder in aspect, its vast, exposed remoteness inspiring a sense of awe in those who traverse it along the National Trail.

    Up here, the landscape still bears a trace of that imposing immediacy faced by those who once lived and, as left in evidence, died upon it. These days, however, it is another inhabitant who faces a battle for survival, Cyrn-y-Brain being home to the endangered Black Grouse, this section of moorland now containing over 80% of the Welsh population.

    Thank you again to Richard, Jack and Colin of Countryside Skills for braving the winter weather in such exposed conditions, and also to the Telford and East Shropshire Ramblers who travelled down last November to help with access enhancements. Your work is much appreciated!

    For anyone interested in volunteering with the team here at Llangollen, don't hesitate to get in touch with us either by phone (01824 712791) or by email aron.roberts@denbighshire.gov.uk

    If you would like to find out more about the history of the landscape or about Cyrn-y-Brain, here's a link to the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust website.

    Aron Richard Roberts

    Trainee Countryside Warden

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