Securing the future of the Celtic rainforest
Since the Trust bought Llennyrch, a stunning 550 acre property in Snowdonia, two years ago, we have been busy with essential works, including over five kilometres of stock fencing around the woodland. Some of this was made from oak cleft on site, following a tradition that probably dates back hundreds of years in this historic woodland.
Next year, we will be safeguarding some of the out-grown hedges on the farm and creating ‘exclosures’ or fenced areas, on the less productive land to allow trees space to set seed. Grazing is vitally important to maintain the right conditions for the rare mosses, lichens and liverworts that make the site so special, as well as the other high quality open habitats. However, with three hundred hefted sheep about, the next generation of trees may need a helping hand. To this end, volunteers came out in force this autumn to collect native acorns from woodland at Llennyrch and the Trust’s existing wood Coed Felinrhyd next door, which will be grown on to give the saplings a good start in life before being planted back into protected locations in a couple of years’ time.
We’d like to build on this great start and will be looking for intrepid volunteers to support us in further seed collection next year. Site Manager Kylie Jones Mattock has already been tramping the mountain-sides of Cwm Bychan with National Trust warden Simon Rogers to find the elusive native juniper: we plan to take cuttings and seeds from here next year, with a view to reintroducing this often-overlooked tree back to the slopes below Craig y Gwynt at Llennyrch, where it would once probably have been a common sight.
Seed Collecting day at Llennyrch and Coed Felinrhyd were volunteers helped us to collect native Welsh Oak.