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Land that time forgot


Hundreds of acres of slate landscape in Snowdonia will be managed by National Trust Cymru to boost beleaguered wildlife and fight climate change

by Charlotte van Praagh, 1st February 2022

Hundreds of acres of slate landscape in Snowdonia will be managed by National Trust Cymru to boost beleaguered wildlife and fight climate change

In the north of the Snowdonia lies an ancient landscape untouched for decades; Foel is a remarkable place of former slate quarries, tumbling mountain streams, precious peatland and sheer heather-clad cliffs.

This special 1,600-acre ‘time capsule’ site has now been brought into the care of National Trust Cymru, who’ll work with Natural Resources Wales to bolster local wildlife and fight climate change, while also offering a fascinating insight into an era when Wales was renowned for roofing the world.

“Foel’s a mesmerising place that’s rich in history and has huge potential for nature to thrive – we’re really proud to be custodians of it,” says Trystan Edwards, general manager for Snowdonia at National Trust Cymru. 

Foel’s nationally important peatland will be restored so they absorb huge quantities of carbon and water, to mitigate the effects of extreme weather and minimise flooding in the valley. It’s thought the landscape could, once restored, lock up as much as 350,000 tonnes of carbon – the equivalent of taking 80,000 cars off the road for a year!

The land will also be carefully managed and grazed by cattle and sheep to create a mosaic of grass and heath lands, meadows and blanket bog to benefit a myriad of birds, such as hen harrier, peregrine falcon,red grouse and skylark.

What’s more, the charity will work with communities to research and preserve Foel’s slate heritage – which includes rows of quarrymaen’s cottages and a water-powered incline for moving the slate – and to improve public access to it.

For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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