Parc Mawr woods, Henryd
Parc Mawr woods stretches north to south along an east-facing slope in the foothills of the Carneddau range. Its abundant oak, elm and other trees were once a steady source of timber and charcoal.
The character of the woods changed when many conifers were planted here in the 1960s, followed by the loss of the elm trees to Dutch elm disease. In 1997 Parc Mawr passed into the care of Coed Cadw (the Woodland Trust), which is replanting deciduous trees and encouraging wildflowers such as ransoms, bluebells and wood anemones to thrive.
Shortly after entering through the main entrance near Henryd, on the right you’ll see a tunnel leading into the rock. This was dug as an adit for the nearby Trecastell lead and zinc mine, which closed c.1955. It opened in the mid-18th century or earlier, but was not continuously worked over the ensuing two centuries.
Old mineworkings in the area are habitats for the lesser horseshoe bat. In 2001 a greater horseshoe bat found in the adit was traced back to the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, where it had been ringed as a baby in 1999. This was the furthest north a greater horseshoe bat had ever been recorded. Previously the species was thought to be confined to southern England and South Wales.