The Landscape Partnership covers an area of almost 220 square kilometres in the northern parts of the National Park. The area includes high mountains and ffridd as well as surrounding valleys and settlements. The unbroken upland area is a place of isolation, with large areas far from where people live. Formed by elemental forces, geology and nature, the area is also a landscape that has changed through thousands of years of human use.
The project area goes from Dwygyfylchi and Penmaenmawr in the north, to the Conwy Valley in the east, Capel Curig in the south, and to the Ogwen Valley in the west.
Montane heath, Carnedd Dafydd (© NRW)
The area takes its name from the distinctive prehistoric cairns (large piles of stone; Welsh: carneddau) on many of its peaks and ridges. More than a hundred have been identified in the area. Some are visible from great distances away in the valleys and lowland. They were burial and ceremonial monuments marking sacred places where human and supernatural worlds connected. They show how symbolically important the mountains were for the ancient communities.
The area is also home to rare and iconic species such as the Chough (Welsh: Y Fran Goesgoch, meaning ‘red-legged crow’), and the Carneddau ponies – a hardy type of semi-wild ponies, unique to the Carneddau, that roam the open mountain.
One of the rarest and most threatened habitats in Wales, montane heath, is found on the summit ridges and mountain tops of the Carneddau, and is highly vulnerable to damage by people and animals.
© Crown Copyright: RCAHMW
Carneddau ponies (© SNPA)
Gathering sheep (© John Roberts)