Jul 09 2019

Collaboration in the Celtic Rainforest

Collaboration in the Celtic Rainforest

The Woodland Trust, or Coed Cadw in Wales, is working in partnership with The Snowdonia Society to work with volunteers conserving our wooded landscapes and woodland skills, particularly at our celtic rainforest site: Coed Felenrhyd & Llennyrch. We have been running monthly work parties with the Snowdonia Society, undertaking woodland tasks such as waymarking and building new gates to be installed around the farm.


The Snowdonia Society is a member-based conservation charity that works with local communities, organisations, businesses and individuals to help look after Snowdonia.  Since 1967 the Snowdonia Society has worked tirelessly to ensure that Snowdonia is well-protected, well-managed and enjoyed by all.


This year, as part of National Volunteer Week at the start of June, the Snowdonia Society and Coed Cadw team (facilitated by Kehoe Countryside Ltd) came together at Llennyrch along with 15 volunteers – many from Bangor University. There’s plenty to get on with at this site including installing compost loo complete with handmade wooden shingles and making split timber gates.



Making a split timber gate

  1. Find a scenic and sunny spot to shape your gate post using a spoke shave and drawknife.
  2.  Once the holes for horizontals are in place, persuade an expert to demo finishing the edges of the post.

Installing a compost loo

The volunteers were digging the holes for the gate posts and Ffred was preparing the compost loo for its shingle roof.

The compost toilet is part of Phase 1 of the restoration of the farm, giving us greater scope to welcome volunteers to the wood to learn new skills and help with our conservation work.


We are currently looking for partners to work with us on the next phase of our ambitious project to restore the Grade II listed farm and outbuildings to bring them back into use, and we hope that this process will open up opportunities for local people to train in traditional building.  It will also give us a great long term base to build up our practical volunteering and we hope to see many more days where volunteers can join us to learn traditional timber crafts from experts like Andy!

Coed Felenrhyd & Llennyrch

Coed Felenrhyd & Llennyrch is a 310ha (765 acre) property in the Snowdonia National Park. Stretching from Llyn Trawsfynydd in the east almost to the confluence of the Prysor and tidal Dwyryd rivers in the west, it is one of the Trust’s largest woods in Wales. This is a wood that has been many thousands of years in the making. And that long history is reflected in the sheer diversity of the living things that make it their home.


The wood is one of Europe’s best remaining examples of Atlantic oak woodland. It’s a habitat that has been dubbed the Celtic Rainforest and it is as important globally – and as vulnerable – as some tropical rainforests.


Its oak, ash and hazel canopy echoes with the song of redstart and wood warbler, while rare lichens, mosses and liverworts thrive, covering every surface along streams and rocky gullies. Otters hunt along the river and rare lesser horseshoe bats flit among the tree branches on summer nights.


Of course, it is still a living landscape. The hefted flock are cared for by a tenant farmer and in summer visitors may also encounter Welsh black cattle in the fields, heathland and mires. As well as woodland, visitors can explore grasslands which in autumn are rich in colourful waxcap fungi and extensive areas of heathland, bog and mire, where reptiles bask in the summer sun.


With an extensive network of footpaths, Coed Felenrhyd & Llennyrch is a marvellous place to get close to nature – and to get in touch with a timeless jewel. It retains a sense of real remoteness and you can easily spend a whole day exploring its heritage, both human and natural. Read more about this incredible site here.


Want to get involved?

If you are interested in joining the regular group at Llennyrch please email dan@snowdonia-society.org.uk for more details.


Woodland Trust and the Snowdonia Society are also collaborating on the Make a Difference (MAD) Weekend which runs 13-15 September 2019. Join us on the Saturday to try your hand at conservation tasks such as footpath making.


With special thanks to our dedicated volunteers for working to keep this site fabulous.


Martha Boalch

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