The Carneddau landscape is an area stretching across almost 220 square kilometres in Northen Snowdonia. Its mountain uplands are dominated by Carnedd Llywelyn and Carnedd Dafydd – two of Wales’ five 1,000m peaks.

The spectacular landscape is diverse, with dramatic crags, natural lakes and deep, U-shaped valleys shaped by glaciation. On the lower slopes, there is a mix of traditional pastures that are called ‘ffriddoedd’, as well as woodland, heath and lowland grassland. The Carneddau’s boundary is defined by the foothills and the coastal strip in the North, and by glacially carved river valleys of Conwy and Ogwen to the West, South and South-West.

Map of the Carneddau Scheme Area

Bethesda and the surrounding communities with Carnedd Llewelyn and Carnedd Dafydd in the background

The Carneddau are surrounded by a diverse range of communities, from busy towns like Conwy at the tip of the Carneddau, to the solitude of quieter upland settlements  such as Rowen and Trefiw in the Conwy Valley.

People are an integral part of the Carneddau landscape.  The people have shaped the land and the land has shaped the people in return. The area’s unique cultural heritage is embodied in farming and livestock management, literature, art, religion, the slate, wool mining and quarrying industries, and the movement and settlement of people through time

Find out more about how we are helping to protect and celebrate the cultural heritage of the Carneddau.

Explore the Cultural Heritage
a Twite in a flower rich meadow

The Carneddau is home to an abundance of wildlife and its rich biodiversity can be attributed to the area’s variety of geological features, from the highest rugged summits to sheltered cwms, and everything in between.

The Carneddau provides habitats and feeding grounds nearly 6,000 species of plants, trees, fungi, mammals, amphibians, birds, invertebrates, reptiles and fish, some of national and international importance.

Some of the biggest challenges that face all wildlife is being increasingly under threat from a changing climate and addressing the climate emergency.

Discover how we are helping to improve biodiversity and combat climate change through our natural heritage projects.

Explore the Natural Heritage
Clearing bracken to uncover a scheduled monument in Coedydd Aber

Thousands of archaeological sites represent over six thousand years of human activity in the Carneddau. Nearly 100 are designated as scheduled monuments for their outstanding national importance. Highlights include Bronze Age burial cairns and stone circles, Iron Age and Roman period settlements, field systems and the medieval seasonal upland dwellings (Hafotai).

Explore the Historic Environment
What makes this area so special?

The diversity in natural, historical and cultural heritage within the Carneddau makes the area a very special place. The landscape supports habitats and species of national and international importance.

There are sites designated as ones of Outstanding Historic Interest, including 97 registered monuments representing a wide range of human activity, and over 3,500 features listed in the regional Historic Environment Record.

The rich cultural heritage of the area is embodied in farming and livestock management, literature, art, religion, the slate, wool and quarrying industries, people migrating and anchoring their roots over time.

Carneddau Character Areas

Discover more about the diversity of the Carneddau landscape, from the coastal lowlands to the exposed summits that are found over 220km.

Carneddau Character Areas Resource

Carneddau Gallery