Upper Conwy Catchment Project

Project

The entire Conwy catchment covers over 574 km2 - an area the size of the Isle of Man. There are busy tourist towns including Conwy and Betws y Coed, rural villages such as Cwm Penmachno and remote hill farms such as those on the Ysbyty Ifan estate.

The habitats change across the landscape, from blanket bog and moorland in the higher reaches of the Migneint to ffridd and woodland as you wind down towards lush lowland farms, meadows and estuaries. Rivers travel the entire length of the landscape connecting habitats and homes with the source of water up on the Migneint to the sea at Conwy.

While our work is focussed in the Upper Conwy, we hope to have positive impacts downstream and across the entire Conwy Catchment, as demonstrated by the map and video below. 

Video

Facing the climate crisis at Upper Conwy

The dramatic landscape of Upper Conwy in Snowdonia National Park may look resilient and rugged but it's very vulnerable to climate change. From reconnecting a section of river to its floodplain to restoring peatland, a lot is being done to tackle climate change and protect local communities from flooding on their doorstep. Watch this video to find out more.

Working towards a cleaner, healthier catchment
Floods along a river at Capel Curig, Snowdonia

Why is this project so important? 

Find out how are we working towards creating bigger, better more joined up habitats in the Upper Conwy, that benefit people and wildlife.

Joining up
A person stands of a hillside of Y Foel, Snowdonia with the valley and mountains behind

National Trust Cymru bring ‘time capsule’ landscape in Snowdonia into its care to benefit nature, climate and communities 

Hundreds of acres of hillside in the slate landscape of Snowdonia have been brought into the care of National Trust Cymru to bolster wildlife populations, tackle climate change and increase interest in the area’s mining history.

A spotlight on Carrog farm
Carrog farmhouse next to Cwm Penmachno sign in Snowdonia

Carrog, a flagship farm 

A small holding in Cwm Penmachno has been on an incredible journey as one of the Upper Conwy Catchment's flagship sites.

Working with communities
Pupils art work of mythical Afanc

Using the Mabinogion to explore flooding reality  

Are you familiar with the tale of Yr Afanc? According to legend, Yr Afanc was a mythical creature living in the Conwy Valley.

What's next?
Boardwalk running through woodland alongside Afon Llugwy, Conwy

A boost for well-being of nature and people along Afon Conwy 

Learn about how a new project will benefit nature and people living along the Afon Conwy.

 

Latest updates

24 Jan 22

Foel to benefit nature, climate and communities

Hundreds of acres of hillside in the slate landscape of Snowdonia have been brought into our care to bolster wildlife populations, tackle climate change and increase interest in the area’s mining history. Located at the head of the Conwy Catchment where we’ve been working with Natural Resources Wales for over a decade to slow the flow of water to reduce risk of flooding and create rich habitats to tackle climate change. This remote 1,600-acre site plays a significant role in continuing this work on a landscape scale for the benefit of people and nature. Find out more

A person stands of a hillside of Y Foel, Snowdonia with the valley and mountains behind

30 Nov 20

Our latest newsletter

It's been a challenging year, but despite this we've still managed to achieve so much. Find out what our team have been up to and all latest from the project by reading our newsletter

Front page of the newsletter, which includes a blue header with Upper Conwy title and image of someone riding a bike and some text beneath

06 Sep 20

Restoring a river in the shadow of Snowdon

We’re now applying techniques we trialled at Carrog to other sites within the catchment including Nant y Gwryd, a river flanked by Wales’ highest peak, Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). In September, together with our partners Natural Resource Wales (NRW), we began re-profiling the steep banks and re-positioning some large boulders in a previously modified section of the river. We are already starting to see some changes, with the river shifting from a straight glide (like a canal) to developing sections of pools (deep water) and riffles (fast flowing areas), with gravel shoals forming around the boulders. This creates a greater variety of features within the river and improves the habitat for spawning fish, such as brown trout and birds such as kingfisher, common sandpiper and dipper.