New tipple to celebrate completion of conservation project

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A new beer will be launched at Coed Moel Famau this weekend (29 and 30 September) during a party to celebrate the final stages of the £2.3 million Heather and Hillforts Project.

The Welsh Government woodland will be a fitting location to unveil the new tipple – its special ingredients include the heather, bilberry and honey from the moorland that forms part of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The day will be hosted by staff from Forestry Commission Wales and the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB to mark the imminent completion of the five-year Heather and Hillforts Project which received a grant of £1.5million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

The new heather beer, created by the local Hafod brewery, is just one of the treats on offer to celebrate the conservation work that has been taking place to preserve the landscape of the area.

Councillor Carolyn Thomas, Chairman of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, said, “Brewing beer using ingredients like heather would probably have taken place in this area thousands of years ago.

“It’s wonderful to see the AONB working with Hafod brewery to produce a fantastic product using ingredients from our uplands. Heather moorland is not only spectacular but also a functioning landscape which supplies us with a variety of products such as lamb, honey – and, once again, beer!”

As well as sampling the AONB’s special brew, the accent will be on family fun throughout the weekend, with free activities between 10.30pm and 3.30pm, including creating a flock of willow and heather sheep, trying out a cycle track and stream dipping.

AONB staff, Forestry Commission Wales staff and local providers will be on hand to share some of the delights of the Clwydian Range hills and to discuss the heritage which helps to explain why it is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Local company Ancient Arts will be smelting copper, all the way from the initial phases of taking the rock to making it into the shiny metal, through experimental archaeology, just as our ancestors would have done 400 years ago.

And Original Outdoors will be testing people’s bushcraft skills, showing how to survive in the wild.

Mike Whitley, FC Wales Local Area Manager, said, “Woodlands are an important part of the landscape within the AONB, sitting alongside much of the heather moorland, so it’s fitting that this event is being held at Coed Moel Famau. 

“The day will help to raise further awareness of the interesting and diverse activities that go on within this special landscape and the many products and services it provides.”


A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.

For more information on Coed Moel Famau, contact Mike Whitley on 0300 068 0136, mobile 07747 475161, email

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email