Ceiriog Valley Wildlife

The auroch lifts her gentle head and sniffs the air, cold with the bite of ice. She watches as bison thunder across the great ice river, dark specks of wolves hunting and harrying the weak. A rumbling groan fills the air followed by the harsh splintering of ice, the glacier is melting, great chasms form plummeting down to the bottomless dark below. Retreat continues and until, in midsummer 14,000 years ago, the last snows melted in the glacial bowl cupped by Cadair Berwyn and Bronwyn. Laughter of the long dead drifts through the breeze, the fairy king Gwyn Ap Nudd has come, deeming the summit of Bronwyn suitable beautiful to be a gateway to Annwn, the Celtic otherworld filled with light and happiness.

Gazing back down the valley, bathed in golden light, he surveys the new valley.

 

Trickling down Bronwen’s slopes a tiny stream struggles to the valley’s base, gathering water before joining another to form a river. The river Ceriog moves with purpose between hillsides, softly moving through the wide 'U' of Llanarmon and Tregeriog, tumbling with crests of white through the steep upper reaches of Pandy, slowing to pass by Glyn Ceriog, Dolywern and Pontfadog before gaining pace and greeting the valley mouth watched by Chirk Castle and Bronygarth.

 

While humans have since colonised, driving out wolf, bison and auroch, they have left some of the smaller creatures in peace. Conscientious farming practices and the hard to access areas nearer the tops of the valley have formed wonderful havens for insect life. However, the distance between these habitats and the rest of the valley is small and so, with a bit of attention, many fields and gardens can become filled with the hum of a large range of species.

This series is dedicated to showcasing the wonderful range of animals that call the Ceiriog Valley home.