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Moel Findeg is a small but very prominent mountain on the eastern edge of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (A.O.N.B.). Its underlying rock is limestone formed 350 million years ago under a warm shallow sea. River deltas also deposited the fine millstone grits which are now also a feature of the site. Moel Findeg now supports a unique lowland heath land at high altitude.

There are a number of public footpaths that cross the mountain offering panoramic views in all directions. Since 1999 its western slopes have been designated a Local Nature Reserve (LNR), freely open to the general public. The eastern slope looking towards the Pennines is privately owned but a permissive footpath leads to the Bishop's Chair View Point. This is agricultural land so please take care around stock

Moel Findeg offers a unique experience for all visitors, so please use this site to find out more about is and to help plan your visit.

We look forward to welcoming you!

Moel Findeg 10th Anniversary Celebration

It is 10 years since the Friends of Moel Findeg raised the funds to purchase what is now the Moel Findeg Nature Reserve. To celebrate this achievement the Friends are holding an open day in Maeshafn, near Mold, on Saturday, 9th May 2009.

A series of guided walks, led by members of Denbighshire’s Countryside Service, will start from Maeshafn Village Green at 1.00, 2.00, 3.15, & 4.00 and will take about 1 ½ hours. You will hear about the conservation work & wildlife & future plans. To ease congestion in the village visitors are asked to leave their cars in Aberduna (Hanson’s) Quarry Car Park on Ffordd Maeshafn, just off the A494 at Gwernymynydd. The quarry managers have asked that visitors observe the reverse parking request.

From 12.30 until about 7.00, in the area around the Miners Arms, Maeshafn CH7 5LR , for £6 per person you can enjoy a Hog Roast provided by Aberduna Farm Shop, live music by ‘Tom Foolery’ & a slide show by Denbighshire’s Countryside Service.

Everyone is warmly welcome to join in the celebration. For more information on Moel Findeg see www.moelfindeg.co.uk and www.clwydiancountry.co.uk

Geography

Moel Findeg is a small but locally prominent hill of some 364 metres situated approximately 2 miles to the south west of Mold. It straddles the County boundaries of Flintshire & Denbighshire with the village of Maeshafn on its western flank.

The underlying bedrock is limestone formed during the carboniferous period 350 million years ago under a warm shallow sea. As the sea levels receded vast rivers formed deltas along the coast and deposited the grit stones that are now a feature of Moel Findeg. This gives it an acidic soil, producing its distinctive heathland vegetation on the summit. The hill fringes are dominated by birch woodland & scrub.

Moel Findeg is a valued local landscape feature and an important wildlife habitat, hence its inclusion in the Clwydian Range A.O.N.B. which was designated in 1985. Historic interest lies in reminders of its once important lead mining industry and quarrying.

The mountain is crossed by numerous public & unofficial footpaths used by visitors & local people alike enjoying this natural open area. From the summit there are panoramic views of the Pennines to the east, Shropshire to the south east, Snowdonia to the west, Moel Famau & the Clwydian Range to the north west & Liverpool & the Dee & Mersey estuaries to the north east.

History

The area of the Reserve was originally part of the Common Waste in the parish of Llanferres. The land was enclosed in 1801 following the Kilcen and Llanferres Inclosure Act of 1794.

It eventually passed into the possession of the Colomendy Estate and remained there until it was sold in 1938.

Early in the twentieth century the site was forested: mainly with Corsican Pine.

Small scale silica sand extraction was carried out on the western and south-western slopes in 1938-43 and again in 1950-3. These workings have subsequently re-vegetated naturally.

The adjacent village of Maeshafn owes its presence to the famous Maes-y-safn lead mine that runs under both it and Moel Findeg. This mine was worked from at least the early seventeenth century up to the year 1907. At least 80,000 tons of lead ore were extracted. In its most active period nearly 400 men were employed in the mine. Three steam engines, with attendant mine reservoirs, were installed in the village. The largest reservoir still exists at the western end of the Reserve and now acts as a seasonal pond. Leats, or water courses, were constructed in the late nineteenth century to feed this reservoir and can be seen in the woodland in the south western corner.

The Friends of Moel Findeg

The Friends of Moel Findeg were formed in 1996 with the purpose of purchasing the mountain to prevent it being quarried & to create a Local Nature Reserve, freely open to all. Working with the then Clwyd County Council, an appeal was made to the National Heritage Lottery Fund. Due to local government reorganisation, Clwyd County Council ceased to exist but one of their last acts was to deed £100,000 towards the purchase of the mountain to the new Denbighshire County Council. Thus it was that The Friends of Moel Findeg & Denbighshire County Council took on the last part of the battle to protect Moel Findeg.

The management group consisted of:

For three years negotiations dragged on, but by November 1998 a price of £465,000 was agreed. The Heritage Lottery Fund provided £250,000, Clwyd C.C. £100,000, and the Friends & Denbighshire C.C. raised the remaining £115,000. On March 31st 1999 the Moel Findeg Declaration was signed on the village green in Maeshafn by Cllr Peter Williams, Chairman of Denbighshire C.C. and Mr Charles Quant, Chairman of The Friends of Moel Findeg.

The Declaration acknowledged the considerable concern & generosity of the general public, locally, nationally & internationally, which made the purchase possible. It also granted ownership of the land to Denbighshire County Council to be managed by its Countryside Service and in 1999 it was declared a Local Nature Reserve. This LNR will be preserved in perpetuity for the free enjoyment of everyone who wishes to visit the mountain.

Now the really hard work of restoration could begin.

In 2000 the Friends were chosen as the Chronicle Newspapers/Manweb Millennium Group of the Year. In 2003 they received the Clwydian Range A.O.N.B. Award in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the conservation & enhancement of the landscape.

The Reserve

The Western slopes of Moel Findeg were declared a Local Nature Reserve in 1999 following a successful campaign to acquire the site from a quarry company.

The Reserve is made up of 56 acres of heathland and birch woodland on the edge of the village. It has been a popular walking area for many years not only among local people but also with visitors to the area. It is characterised by its lowland heath and birch woodland but is also important for its industrial heritage as the site as a history of lead mining and quarrying.

Apart from being a Local Nature Reserve Moel Findeg has also been identified as a County Wildlife Site on account of the importance of its habitat and species interest in Denbighshire. Lowland heathlands typically occur below an altitude of 250 metres, and historically have been managed by grazing or burning. Although Moel Findeg reaches a height above this contour the heathland is regarded as being predominantly lowland in character. The heathland together with areas of wet mire which are also present on the site have been identified as key biodiversity habitat types in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan on account of their decline nationally and associated rare and threatened species.

Denbighshire Countryside Service manages the Reserve in partnership with the Friends of Moel Findeg and with a great deal of volunteer help. On the heathland work over the years has concentrated on controlling encroaching scrub which in the absence of any grazing animals basically means cutting back gorse, birch and willow scrub by hand ! The gorse and the heather is also cut with a tractor in order to encourage new grow. In 2003 a wild fire across the hillside and we lost much of the heather and bilberry which are important elements of the heath. Bracken, which thrives on burnt soils moved in quickly and took over much of the heath. It has been a slow job to reverse this process, rolling and crushing the bracken every year to slowly reduce its foothold. Heather and bilberry is gradually returning and persistence and hard work seem to be paying off.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the management of Moel Findeg, whether it be though helping control scrub on the heathland, woodland work or drystone walling anyone is welcome to get involved.

You can download a copy of the Countryside Services Volunteer programme at www.clwydianrangeaonb.org.uk

Visiting

Moel Findeg is a very sensitive site & is not suitable for mass visits. It is therefore best enjoyed by small groups of walkers. Footpaths are irregular & can be steep & narrow. Those with walking disabilities should consult the Access Statement.

Whilst dog walkers are very welcome they must keep their dogs under control, especially during the nesting months as many ground-nesting birds inhabit the site. Moel Findeg is also home to adders & grass snakes.

Ponds on the mountain are home to many amphibians & visitors are reminded that some, including the Great Crested Newt, are protected & should not be disturbed

When on Moel Findeg visitors are requested to keep to the paths as the fringes are very easily eroded. New glade paths with resting areas are being created for your enjoyment.

Horses & mountain bikes are prohibited from this LNR.

There are no car parks on Moel Findeg & visitors are encouraged to park at Loggerheads Country Park on the A494, approximately a mile away, & to walk to the mountain along the network of footpaths. Moel Findeg is linked to an extensive footpath network, including Moel Famau & Offa’s Dyke.

FOLLOW THE COUNTRYSIDE CODE

RESPECT – PROTECT – ENJOY

Contact

Denbighshire Countryside Service offers advice, information and practical support throughout the County.

Please feel free to contact us.

01352 810614 (weekdays)

01352 810586 (weekends & holidays)

info@moelfindeg.co.uk

Denbighshire Countryside Services.
Loggerheads Country Park,
NR Mold,
Denbighshire. CH7 5LH.


For accommodation, food, activities, and shopping, visit loggerheadsarea.co.uk