Flora and Fauna Abound in the Clywedog Valley: The Clywedog Valley is home to a myriad of different plants and animals all within easy reach and just waiting for you to discover them!
Wildflowers flourish on the thin limestone soils near the lead mines at Minera. Look for the array of orchids in early summer and flowers such as knapweed with its purple thistle-like flowers and creeping yellow birds foot trefoil. The variety of flowers play host to a range of butterflies, including the common blue.
The river has its own specialised plants and animals. Watch for dark brown and white dippers and graceful grey wagtails (see main image – photo by Arvid Hoidahl on Unsplash) along the river. The wealth of insects and other tiny creatures that live in the water attract these easy-to-spot and distinctive birds.
Trout thrive in the river below Big Weir near Bersham, along with eels and small bullhead fish, that hide in the gaps between stones. If you are lucky, you may see heron and kingfisher feeding along the river.
Nant Mill is home to many bats. Lesser horseshoe bats use the tunnel under the road that drained water from the wheelpit into the river and smaller pipistrelle bats roost in the roof. At dusk on summer evenings, you can see them emerging from their daytime roosts to hunt for insects. The caves at Minera also provide a habitat for bats along with the many ivy-clad trees along the route.
The woodlands along the trail consist of conifer plantations and broadleaved woodland, including beech, ash, oak and hazel. In the spring, the smell of wild garlic wafts through the broadleaved woodland and the floor is carpeted with its thick green leaves. Look for stems of great horsetails. A primitive plant that was common millions of years ago.
In Coed y Glyn, on the edge of the Erddig Estate, there are many old trees, mainly oak and beech, but also more unusual species, including hornbeam and field maple.
This variety of trees and the shrubs, ferns and flowers growing beneath them, provide homes for many birds and animals. The supply of nuts, seeds and berries attract many insects, mice, voles and birds. These in turn provide a plentiful supply of food for the foxes, badgers, owls and kestrels that also live here.
The woodland between Sontley Road car park and King’s Mills is boggier and the woodland floor is carpeted with clumps of ferns, wood rush and huge horsetails that thrive in the damp conditions.
We hope you enjoyed “Flora and Fauna Abound in the Clywedog Valley”. Additionally, you can click here for more stories about Wrexham’s rich and varied heritage.
The stunning photos are by Grace Wood Photography.