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Clwydian Range: A bird's eye view
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Aerial footage of the Clwydian Range courtesy of Heather and Hillforts project

Stunning aerial footage is being used to promote the Clwydian Range and encourage people out on to the 30-mile (48km) stretch of hills.

The film is being screened at local cinemas and Tourist Information Centres and is the latest idea by the Heather and Hillforts project to showcase the area.

And it features local people talking about how the range is part of their lives, either through work as graziers and farmers, or for leisure.

The historical importance of the range is also being highlighted.

More about the Clwyds
Clwydian Range

Fiona Gale, Denbighshire's county archaeologist, has been involved with the Clwydian Range for the 18 years, firstly carrying out survey work and archaeology, and more recently developing the Heather and Hillforts project.

She points out that despite being a so-called Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Clwydian Range actually looks the way it does because of man's influence on the landscape.

"Left to nature all those hills would be scrubby woodland, it wouldn't be heather," says Fiona.

"But people in this area about 6,000 years ago started farming, so they started becoming settled and they cleared woodland for fields and they cleared upland areas as well.

A few weeks ago we went to the top of Penycloddiau and it's just fantastic, the views are incredible. I defy you to find them anywhere else.
David Scruton

"The soil fairly quickly became poor so they couldn't grow arable crops in them, but then they put animals up there to graze and it's those animals that keep the hilltops open, which is why agriculture is so important nowadays as a way of keeping those areas open and wild."

Some of the historical highlights of the area for Fiona are the massive hillfort of Penycloddiau and the Jubilee Tower which stands at the highest point of the range on top of Moel Famau.

"From the ruined building at the top you get fantastic views all the way round and it's an important historic building in its own right, possibly built on the site of a Bronze Age burial mound so the story says," said Fiona.

David Scruton, a local resident and businessman, is vice chair of Heather and Hillforts, and is passionate about the hills.

"The Clwydian Range is just magical," he says. "I'm from Yorkshire originally but I think this is probably the best place in the world to come to.

"Where we live when we look out we can see Moel Fenlli and that's my favourite place."

Helen Mrowiec
Helen Mrowiec manages the Heather and Hillforts project

Helen Mrowiec, manager of the Heather and Hillforts project, likens the importance of the heather to the rainforest because of its huge abundance.

She said: "The DVD tries to celebrate the landscape of north east Wales and the upland landscape particularly.

"It tries to explain to local people and tourists the special features of the landscape."

The DVD will be shown at tourist information centres and at country parks at Loggerheads and Wepre Park.

"We're also going to do a shortened version of the DVD that will be played before cinema performances as an advertisement for the area to try to encourage people to get out there and enjoy their local countryside for themselves," says Helen.





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