Coed y Gopa
Many people visit Coed y Gopa to enjoy the views along the coast from the summit. The walk to the top passes through areas of ancient woodland. The woods are punctuated by patches of limestone grassland. One of the rare plants found here is stinking hellebore. In 1989 the woods passed into the care of Coed Cadw (the Woodland Trust), after a local fundraising appeal.
Coed y Gopa is an important habitat for bats, being one of the biggest hibernation sites in North-east Wales for the lesser horseshoe bat. The photo (right) by Mike Castle shows two in hibernation. Natterer’s bat and Daubentons bat are also found here. The bats exploit limestone caves and the tunnels of abandoned mines where lead and copper was once produced. The Romans mined lead here, from a seam known as Ffos y Bleiddiaid (“Ditch of the Wolves”).
About 2,000 years ago there was a large hillfort on the summit of Coed y Gopa, covering an area of c.190 metres by 130 metres. It used the natural steepness of the ground as a natural defence against attack from the south and east. The fort’s remains have long been known as Castell Cawr (“Giant’s Castle”).
Coed is Welsh for wood. Copa (mutated here to Gopa) = summit.
To hear Coed y Gopa pronounced, press play. Or, download mp3 (24KB)
To hear Ffos y Bleiddiaid pronounced, press play. Or, download mp3 (30KB)
To hear Castell Cawr pronounced, press play. Or, download mp3 (31KB)