Yr Wyddfa National Nature Reserve



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At 3,560ft (1085m), Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa in Welsh), is the highest peak in Wales and the highest UK mountain south of Scotland. The NNR covers about 6.5 square miles, and is home to a diversity of wildlife habitats including arctic plants that have survived there since the end of the last Ice Age. Top of the list is the snow-white Snowdon lily, and the rocky slopes of Snowdon are the only place in the UK where this plant occurs. Other arctic-alpine plants in the reserve include alpine and tufted saxifrage, alpine saw wort and alpine woodsia. Among other flowers are globe flower, Welsh poppy and wild angelica. Mammals are represented by brown hares, fallow deer, badgers, foxes and the rare and elusive pine marten and polecat. Several herds of feral goats are well established in the area. The wild mountaintops of Snowdonia are frequented by choughs, merlins, buzzards, and peregrine falcons. Below the mountain ridges skylarks can be heard, and both red and black grouse take refuge in the heather moorland.

Yr Wyddfa National Nature Reserve


About the area

Discover Gwynedd

The county of Gwynedd is home to most of the Snowdonia National Park – including the wettest spot in Britain, an arête running up to Snowdon’s summit that receives an average annual rainfall of 4,473mm. With its mighty peaks, rivers and strong Welsh heritage (it has the highest proportion of Welsh-speakers in all of Wales), it’s always been an extremely popular place to visit and live. The busiest part is around Snowdon; around 750,000 people climb, walk or ride the train to the summit each year.

Also in Gwynedd is the Llyn Peninsula, a remote part of Wales sticking 30 miles out into the Irish Sea. At the base of the peninsula is Porthmadog, a small town linked to Snowdonia by two steam railways – the Welsh Highland Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway. Other popular places are Criccieth, with a castle on its headland overlooking the beach, Pwllheli, and Abersoch and the St Tudwal Islands. Elsewhere, the peninsula is all about wildlife, tranquillity, and ancient sacred sites. Tre’r Ceiri hill fort is an Iron Age settlement set beside the coastal mountain of Yr Eifl, while Bardsey Island, at the tip of the peninsula, was the site of a fifth-century Celtic monastery.

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