At 554m (1818ft) Moel Famau - which means "Mother Mountain" in Welsh - is the highest summit in the Clwydian Range. Topped by the Jubilee Tower, this iconic local landmark is visible for many miles around.
It sits in the middle of the heather-clad hills of the central part of the Range and offers stunning views across the Vale of Clwyd to Snowdonia and the North Wales coast. One of the best ways to reach it is via Offa’s Dyke National Trail.
Moel Famau and much of the surrounding land make up Moel Famau Country Park, which attracts about 200,000 visitors each year.
The mountains here are covered in heather moorland, an internationally important habitat. But what remains is only a fragment of what was here 100 years ago. Forestation and agricultural improvement has led to a 40% loss since the Second World War.
Much of the Country Park is common land, owned by Denbighshire and Flintshire County Councils, where numerous farmers have the rights to graze sheep. The heather moorland has always been important for this purpose but it needs looking after to get the best out of it.
You may well notice strange shapes cut into the heather while you’re walking in the park. This is part of the ongoing management that’s taken place in the uplands for generations – a combination of burning and cutting encourages new heather to grow and provides fresh grazing for sheep.
It also creates excellent nesting and feeding areas for upland birds. Of particular importance is the black grouse, one of the rarest birds in Wales, but found here in small numbers – between 10 and 15 males have been counted here in recent years. Very early on spring mornings the male black grouse gather together to display and compete for the females. This “lekking” is an extraordinary spectacle.
Moel Famau audio tour
Discover what has shaped and influenced the landscape you see today using your phone as you walk. Call 01352 230123 from your mobile or download the mp3 files for free. The tour guides you from Bwlch Pen Barras car park up to the Jubilee Tower on the summit – north east Wales’s highest built structure. Listen to local experts talk about the geology, archaeology, agriculture, biodiversity and cultural connections this hill has with communities far and wide. Walk through the internationally important and very rare heather moorland and hear about one of Wales’s rarest birds, the black grouse.
Right click your mouse on the numbers below and click “save target as” to download the Audio Points to your computer.