Historic Landscape Characterisation

Dysynni Valley – Area 13 Cadair Idris higher slopes PRN 18347


The summit of Cadair Idris from the eastern side



Historical background

The Cadair Idris range has true mountain qualities. It closes the view up the Dysynni valley. The high summit ridge, with screes, boulders and high, wet gullies where alpine plants grow, is very popular with walkers: the highest peak (Mynydd Moel) is 863m, and there are several routes to the top. The mountain is the chair of the giant Idris, and is associated with a number of myths and legends, some of which are found on in connection with other Gwynedd peaks – anyone sleeping on the mountain overnight will awake as either a madman or a poet!


Key historic landscape characteristics

Mountain summit and upland screes

This area contains the summit of Cadair Idris and the steep, craggy, inhospitable slopes below on the northern side. The area contains few vestiges of previous human habitation.

The eastern half of this character area lies within the Cadair Idris SSSI (CCW ref. SSSI ‘Cadair Idris' 31 WMT ) which altogether extends to some 1102ha in all, much of which includes a National Nature Reserve. It has been designated for its outstanding geomorphological importance which includes such features as the extensive Tal-y-llyn fault as well as several corries and narrow summit ridges. Geologically it is a highly complex area; the massif comprises a section of well-exposed Ordovician volcanic and sedimentary rocks. These support a range of plant communities, with grassland prevailing but which also contains bilberry heath and areas of montane moss heath, well-developed acidic soligenous mires and blanket mire, with remnants of sessile oak woodland on the lower slopes. There is a moderately rich flora on the higher, less accessible slopes and ledges, and in addition some ornithological interest; it has also long been used for research and teaching purposes.

The Cadair Idris National Nature Reserve extends into the eastern part of this character area to the extent of 0.4234km2.


Back to Dysynni Landscape Character Map



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