At a glance, Cwm Idwal doesn’t seem that different to any other valley in Snowdonia. But on closer inspection the rocks, cliffs and crags blossom with various Arctic-Alpine plant species, usually in the Arctic countries or at high altitudes in mountainous regions of Europe. Cwm Idwal provides a suitable environment for these plants, including a cold climate and craggy terrain with less competition by other species.
These are treasures, important to be protected as well as to be admired. As these plants usually grow in Iceland, Scandinavian countries and the Scottish highlands, the fact that they grow here in Cwm Idwal is of utmost importance to scientists.
As a number of the cliffs face either the north or north east, they are rarely in the eye of the sun. Possessing the coldest lands of the valley means that these rare species flourish here.
Various other plants grow at the bottom of the valley and by the cold water of the lake itself such as reeds and horsetails. Across the marshes, on the sides of the valley cotton grass dances to the rhythm of the winds. Only the hardiest of plants survive here.