The limestone heath and grassland of the Maes y Facrell/Pen y Gogarth NNR on Great Ormes Head near Llandudno is widely regarded as among the best in the UK. In summer on the Great Orme you’ll see yellow rock-roses and creamy dropwort, while in early autumn the heath is vibrant with pink, purple and yellow, as heather and gorse come into bloom. The Great Orme is also home to a number of special and rare plants including spiked speedwell, Orme berry or wild cotoneaster (which is only found on the Orme), bloody cranesbill and dark red helleborine. Because of the great diversity of wildflowers, insect life is abundant and several endangered species of butterflies and moths occur including the silver-studded blue butterfly and the silky wave and grayling moths. The sea cliffs of Great Orme are home to many breeding colonies of birds including guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes. The more remote cliffs of the Orme are inhabited by ravens and little owls, and there are small numbers of feral goats.
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About the area
The majority of the population of Conwy lives along its picturesque coastline, while a third of the county falls within jaw-dropping landscape of the Snowdonia National Park. The town of Conwy, which takes its name from the county (which in turn was named after the river that runs through it), is undoubtedly one of the great treasures of Wales.
Three fine bridges – Thomas Telford’s magnificent suspension bridge of 1822, Robert Stephenson’s tubular railway bridge, and a newer crossing – all stretch over the estuary beneath the castle, allowing both road and the railway into this medieval World Heritage Site. Pride of place goes to the castle, dating back to 1287.
Conwy is the most complete walled town in Britain, with walls measuring an impressive six feet in thickness and 35 feet in height. The walkway along the top offers splendid over-the-rooftop views of the castle, the estuary and the rocky knolls of nearby village of Deganwy. At the wall’s end, steps descend to the quayside where fishermen sort their nets and squawking seagulls steal scraps.
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