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Denbighshire is a county of outstanding and dramatic landscapes, ranging from the windswept sand dunes of the north coast, over the heather and hillforts of the Clwydian Range to the dramatic Dee Valley in the south. It is rich in contrasts, with the remote moors of Hiraethog descending into the lush Vale of Clwyd, and the imposing escarpment of the Eglwyseg facing the wide Berwyn Mountains.
The Clwydian Range is one of Britain’s finest protected landscapes, renowned for its purple, heather-clad chain of hills, dramatically situated hillforts and wonderful views. The Range is a very special area to live in, to work in and to visit. This is reflected in its status as one of just five designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Wales, which alongside the three National Parks are the country’s most treasured landscapes. Famous for its stunning views, this is one of the least discovered yet most welcoming and easiest to explore of the UK’s finest landscapes.
This breathtaking landscape, its character and its beauty has been produced by generations occupying and working the land. The evidence of these past generations contribute to the cultural richness of the area and give it a distinctive local character. In recognition of this part of the Clwydian Range and Vale of Clwyd are designated as being of Outstanding Historic Importance and the Dee Valley forms part of a Landscape of Special Historic Importance which makes it clear that the historic environment is a large part of what makes the landscape of Denbighshire so special.
The Heather and Hillforts project has focused a particular aspect of this landscape – the remarkable chain of Iron Age hillforts that run the length of the Clwydian Range and into the Dee Valley, huge defensive earthworks dominating many of the summits and reminding us that we were moulding and shaping this area over 2000 years ago. The Heather and Hillforts Project area includes the hillforts of Penycloddiau, Moel Arthur, Moel y Gaer Llanbedr, Moel Fenlli, Moel y Gaer Llantysilio and Caer Drewyn.
To the west of the County is the expansive Hiraethog, a region of stunning and unspoilt landscapes with rolling heather moor, deep forest and quiet lakes. This special area takes its name from the welsh word Hiraeth, which means longing or yearning – as its name suggests this is an area of great cultural significance and attachment.