Cwm Idwal, a National Nature Reserve in the Snowdonia mountains is a fantastic introduction to glacial geology. A well-marked route takes you into the heather-clad upland world of the raven, with arctic alpine plants, fast-flowing streams frequented by dipper, and the sheer scale and grandeur of its icescraped amphitheatre. At the end of the summer an on-site event will give you the chance to see Cwm Idwal as you've never seen it before. This will be followed in the autumn by local showings of a specially commissioned film celebrating Cwm Idwal, with music by local musician Gwilym Morus.
Gwaith Powdwr nature reserve (81 acres), on the Dwyryd estuary is a gateway to the hanging oak woodlands of the Vale of Ffestiniog. Gnarled and ancient trees clad with mosses, liverworts and lichens support pied flycatchers and redstarts, while the rivers and streams are home to otters and sewin (sea trout). Along with activities and workshops throughout the summer, a wildlife and art festival celebrating our local woodlands and rivers will be held at Gwaith Powdwr towards the end of July.
To get a real feel for the Gwynedd sea and coast, one of the best places to visit is Uwchmynydd. Standing on the headland at the very tip of the Llŷn, you are in no doubt about the power of the sea, the resilience of the cliffs, and the value of the coastal heaths for key birds such as the chough and stonechat. What is hard to grasp is the richness of the awe-inspiring wildlife that lives beneath the waves. Discover Gwynedd will give you a glimpse of the under-seascapes, through rock-pooling, boat trips to offshore islands, innovative marine wildlife information, and a special celebration of the sea in mid August.