Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Drewyn the giant comes to life in Corwen
On Saturday the 23rd of March the local community and visitors to Corwen came together to take part in Waking Corwen’s Giant.
Celebrating Visit Wales’ ‘Year of Discovery’ it was an opportunity to experience the myths and legends of the area and the story of Drewyn the giant. Over 200 people were in Corwen to assist in waking the giant and witnessing the creation of a land art through a series of explosions.
Visitors were led up to Pen-y-Pigyn view point ready for the spectacular event, and on route discovering giant objects which Drewyn had dropped along the way.
Once at the view point it was the responsibility of the crowd to wake Drewyn by making as much noise as possible with church bells, whistles and singing. And once Drewyn was awake visitors witnessed a series of explosions across the landscape creating the concept and image of giant footsteps, followed by a finale of Drewyn’s giant outline appearing in Dôl Corwenna at the centre of Corwen as he lay back to rest.
Waking Corwen’s Giant is led by the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB in partnership with the local community and has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
The concept behind Waking Corwen’s Giant was developed and designed by artist Gordon Rogers of Structure and Agency alongside engineer John Kettles. ‘Drewyn appeared with the same energies that shape the landscape and the same awe that makes the memories that turn into legends. Luckily for the people of Corwen he’s a much kinder soul than many of the neighbouring giants that inhabited the Dee Valley. Also, unlike many of his neighbours he hasn’t met a sticky end at the sword of a saint or a king. In waking he’s started the next chapter in his story and the objects he has dropped might give some clues as to what the future holds.’
Ceri Lloyd, AONB Sustainable Development Officer said ‘Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB have worked with the community to develop the concept of Drewyn and in particular this event, and it was great to see so many people out in Corwen to experience this unique art work being created. Now that Drewyn has appeared on Dôl Corwenna at the centre of Corwen it will continue to be part of the landscape and change with the seasons and we encourage visitors to head up to Pen-y-Pigyn to experience the view and take in the legendry giant artwork.”
The artwork will be planted with different wild flowers, changing as we head through the seasons. Visitors are encourage to head to Pen-y-Pigyn to view the artwork where they’ll also be able to discover the giant objects left by Drewyn on the walk. For more information on how to get there head to the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB website.
Community Care in the Woods
A much desired new path has been created in Rhos y Coed in Trevor near Llangollen, linking together the Community Centre in Trevor to the Canal near Postles Bridge. Many residents have been hoping for a path through this woodland for a number of years.The path provides a direct link for the community to the World Heritage site though a former industrial area where nature has taken over and woodland has naturally regenerated. The new route has been christened ‘The Clinker Path’ as it features a large clinker boulder beside the canal, a dramatic reminder of the industrial past, there are also several smaller clinker boulders within the woodland. Clinker is the waste product from the smelting process in the iron industry. The giant meteorite like large clinker boulder may also be easily mistaken for a tree root plate and many people will have passed by without understanding the significance of its existence. The plan is to keep the vegetation around the clinker clear and provide some interpretation and a bench for quiet canal-side contemplation.
This new path has been made possible by the Heritage Lottery Funded project ‘Our Picturesque Landscape’ (OPL) which centres on the landscape of the Dee Valley and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site. It takes the theme of inspirational journeys that have been, and continue to be, a feature of the area which is cut by the canal, Telford's A5 and the River Dee. The five year project will invest in the resilience of key visitor sites and engage communities in its appreciation and management while reinterpreting this rich landscape for a new generation.
Since the creation of the path, the local Cubs and Beavers groups from Trevor have been involved in planting 47 new trees in place of the 10 trees that were removed during the construction of the path. Eleven children and their parents spent a morning of their half term holiday doing their bit to improve their local environment supported by their fantastic leaders. Elaine Anderson Group Scout Leader said ‘The children had a great time and are looking forward to watching their trees grow, the effort they have put in will go towards their community help badge, we all had a delightful morning.’
Unfortunately the woodland has been subject to some historic fly tipping and all sorts of rubbish has been found, from car bonnets to garden pots. The full extent of the litter problem was brought to light following the creation of the new path through the woodland, enabling people to get up close to the massive meteorite-like clinker, a piece of historical fly tipping in itself, dating from as far back as 1870 and a relic of the local iron industry!
Following the discovery of the rubbish the OPL team contacted Keep Wales Tidy to organise a community Spring Clean event as part of their annual Spring Clean Cymru which is a nationwide campaign encouraging people across Wales to get together to help clean up our beautiful Cymru.
A total of 10 local people, including 4 children gave up a Saturday morning to help tidy up the woods and improve them for both people and wildlife and by the end a total of 20 bags of rubbish and other larger items were collected.
Sallyanne Hall, Community Engagement Officer for Our Picturesque Landscape said: "It was wonderful to see the local community getting involved in the tree planting and litter pick and I am pleased that Our Picturesque Landscape Project has been able to provide this long desired path through the woods. The OPL team hope this will be the start of many opportunities for the people of Trevor to get together and enjoy the fantastic environment on their doorstep".
Scout Leader Elaine Anderson with Cub Scout Olly and Grandson Toby planting a silver birch tree
The final pile of rubbish
The Clinker Path
Out and About
You and a view. Sometimes that’s all you need from a day in the great outdoors.
A spontaneous walk across our windswept heather moorland or through our river valleys can help you unwind, give you a tremendous sense of tranquility and put you back in touch with the real you.
But sometimes you might like something a little more organised. You might be craving fun and company. And you might even want to bring the kids along.
That’s why every year we produce an events programme called “Out and About”. It’s crammed with family events, guided walks and practical projects. And they won’t cost you a penny.
So if you want to see a hillfort, pick a bilberry, watch a meteorite, detect a bat or hunt some bugs, download the booklet below.
There’s an event for everyone in there.
To book a place or to find out more, call us on 01352 810614 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Take the Lead and be responsible dog owners in the Denbighshire countryside
The Council and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty have joined forces to launch this year’s campaign, encouraging people to keep their dogs on leads in the county’s open countryside.
The Take the Lead campaign is now in its third year and is being launched ahead of the start of the holiday season this Easter. The campaign is targeting local residents and visitors to the countryside and wants to build on the success of previous years’ initiative.
The campaign includes production of videos that will be shared on social media, features in the local media and online and direct engagement with people visiting the county’s scenic countryside.
We were delighted by the success of last year’s campaign and it seemed that people were listening to the message. We saw far more people acting responsibly and taking their dogs on leads in the countryside – and we would like to thank them for their efforts.
However this is a kind of message that needs to be repeated time and time again to gain its maximum impact, so we will be sharing our campaign messages with locals and visitors and encourage the small minority who flout the law to take action.
We have seen some incidents where sheep have been injured or killed as a result of attacks from dogs off their leads. We have spoken to farmers who have lost sheep or have had their animals attacked. This really can be avoided by working together with dog owners, sending home the message that dogs should be kept on leads. We can really make a difference.
We appreciate why people would want to go on walks in our scenic countryside in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Many walkers bring dogs with them and whilst we want that to continue, all we are asking is that people respect the Countryside Code.
There are plenty of warning signs and information about taking dogs on leads and we will be out and about over the coming months talking to owners and sharing our message to as wide an audience as possible.
Our Picturesque Landcape
This is the beautiful cake of Castell Dinas Bran which was made for the official launch of the Our Picturesque Landscape project in the Spring Fair at Plas Newydd on Saturday 13th April 2019.