AHNE Bryniau Clwyd / Clwydian Range AONB

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Managing our moorland

The 3000 acres of heather moorland that carpets the AONB  is of international nature conservation importance. Three-quarters of the world's remaining heather is here in the UK and together with grass moorland forms the largest area of undeveloped wildlife habitat left in Wales.

Burning

Heather moorland supports a number of rare animals and plants including the black grouse, hen harrier and other upland birds. But over the past 50 years more than half of it has disappeared – and much of the rest is in poor condition. 

Although it’s often thought of as a wild, undeveloped natural habitat, heather moorland has actually been created through continuous management by people over many centuries.

Its survival depends on maintaining the traditional system of grazing the hillsides with sheep which munch the fresh young vegetation, controlling the spread of trees and shrubs and keeping heather and bilberry short.

The AONB, its teams of volunteers and local farmers and graziers are all working together to manage the moorland and ensure the skills of previous generations are passed on for the future.

Every year they manage up to 120 acres of heather and bilberry by cutting or burning.

Landowners looking for advice should visit the section entitled “Living and working in the AONB”.

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