County Voice

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Fossil Fuel Free Tools and Transport

This one-day event hosted by National Trust Chirk Castle and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB team brought professionals and students together to explore the fossil fuel free (FFF) options for grass, scrub, leaf, tree and timber management, as well as a variety of transport options for personal, professional and off-road duties.

With equipment and expertise on hand from Clwyd Agri, Stihl UK, Avant Techno, Drosi Bikes and Sustrans, attendees spent the morning rotating around between workshops spending time understanding the current FFF options for tackling everyday countryside and conservation tasks. These included looking at the use of traditional techniques such as scything, alongside modern battery powered mowers, strimmers, brush cutters, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and chainsaws. In the transport field attendees were able to try out e-bikes and e-cargo bikes as a FFF option for commuting and travelling between offices and meetings and talk to professionals using electric vans, UTV’s and loaders about their experience of this equipment in the field. The Avant e6 proved a popular piece of equipment with attendees trialling its mower, bucket and forklift attachments giving them first-hand experience of how capable the machine is, while in the timber management workshops attendees were able to see and try petrol and electric chainsaws side by side giving them the confidence to know which petrol machines can now be swapped out for a FFF alternative with no change in operational capability. Over lunch Stihl UK gave an insight into battery technology, charging and ran a Q&A session where attendees were able to get answers to many common battery questions such as battery life, capacity / range, recharge cycles and speeds and got to hear about some of the new technology coming to market and what the future might hold for battery technology.

The event was attended by professionals and students from Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy and Carmarthenshire county councils, Natural Resources Wales, Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri, Coleg Cambria, Brighter Green Engineering, North Wales Wildlife Trust and the National Trust with over 60 professionals and students booking onto the day. 

Step Back in Time with Our Picturesque Landscape

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit Castell Dinas Brân, Llangollen in the 14th Century or see a birds-eye view of Trevor in 1795?

The team at Our Picturesque Landscape have launched ‘An Animated History of the Dee Valley’, a beautiful and informative film that sweeps across the Dee Valley. It depicts the changes to the landscape over time, demonstrating the shift from pastoral to urban across the centuries with the industrialisation of the area, and the coming of the canal and A5 road opening the Dee Valley up to tourists. A series of shorter focused films showcasing each specific landscape of Llangollen, Trevor and Castell Dinas Brân can also be found on The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB Vimeo page:

Alongside the animated films, an exciting series of Virtual Reality (VR) films have been produced with the aim of transporting viewers back to past centuries and locations around the Dee Valley. By scrolling around and interacting with the videos, the viewer is able to immerse themselves in the locations of Castell Dinas Brân in the 14th Century and Victorian era, the construction of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in 1795, Valle Crucis Abbey in the 14th Century and Plas Newydd with the Ladies of Llangollen in 1805. The 360 films can be viewed here:

If you would like to experience the full potential of the films, a VR headset will accompany the Our Picturesque Landscape team at future event days to allow the public to view the historic landscapes. You can view our upcoming events at:

You may also spot the installation of QR codes at each video location, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the landscape using their own mobile devices.

New Joint Committee Members

The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are pleased to announce that membership of the Committee for the next four years has been agreed. The Committee is made up of Cabinet members from the three local authorities within the AONB and will be as follows:

Flintshire County Council

  • Councillor David Hughes (Chair)
  • Councillor David Healey

Denbighshire County Council

  • Councillor Win Mullen-James
  • Councillor Emrys Wynne

Wrexham County Borough Council

  • Councillor Hugh Jones
  • Councillor Nigel Williams (Vice Chair)

These members will act on behalf of their local authorities in delivering the purposes of the AONB, along with the development and delivery of the newly published AONB Management Plan. 

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