LAND leading up to one of the Dee Valley’s most iconic features from Llangollen has been bought, to protect the attraction for future generations to enjoy.

Denbighshire County Council owns the freehold to Castell Dinas Bran, which includes the summit where the castle is located. The land owned by the council is around five acres.

Now, a partnership involving the council, Natural Resources Wales and Llangollen Town Council have purchased 36 acres of land on the western approaches to the castle, locally known as ‘the ‘Pancake’. Discussions were led by Howard Sutcliffe, the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB officer and ranger service manager.

Dinas Bran Castle which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM) is one of the most important landmarks in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) of the Dee Valley, sitting atop of a hill adjacent to Llangollen. Once climbed it gives the most awe inspiring views of the Dee Valley, over 30,000 visitors climb to the castle each year.

The castle was purchased by the former Clwyd County Council in the late 1980s and since then Denbighshire County Council has invested approximately £120,000 in reconsolidation work in the early 2010s.

Three years ago, Natural Resources Wales designated all of the surrounding grasslands to the castle a Site of Special Scientific Interest, showing the value of the site for nature conservation.

Two years ago the land was put on to the open market and funding was secured by Denbighshire County Council, Natural Resources Wales and LlangollenTown Council, towards the purchase.

Councillor Tony Thomas, cabinet lead member for housing and communities, and chair of the joint committee for the AONB said: “Dinas Bran is such an iconic location and enjoyed by thousands of visitors year after year. It is a major attraction in the Dee Valley and contributes towards the success of the visitor economy in the region.

“Opportunities like this to purchase the land are extremely rare, it was a great chance for the council to work towards buying the land, with the aim of protecting the land and allowing access to the castle for future generations to enjoy.

“We were delighted that Natural Resources Wales and Llangollen Town Council were on board with funding and shared our vision to protect and conserve this jewel in the AONB and the Dee Valley’s tourism and heritage crown."

Richard May, Natural Resources Wales conservation officer added: “We look forward to working with our partners at the AONB to manage the site’s special features ensuring that we and future generations continue to enjoy Dinas Brân’s rich natural and historical heritage.

“The grasslands found here are very special and Dinas Brân has the second largest area in Wales of one of these important habitats.

“The SSSI also holds rare plants and important species of birds and butterflies that rely on the grassland and other habitats.”

Gareth Thomas, clerk of Llangollen Town Council, said: “Llangollen Town Council are pleased that their involvement in this project has secured the purchase of this significant area of grassland. Through the foresight of former Town Councillor Karen Edwards, the town council was alerted of the potential to purchase this parcel of land.

"Fellow town councillors were more than happy to support her, and the effort of other partners, to bring this site into public ownership to safeguard, not only the land, but also the castle against any future uses which could adversely affect these valuable historic and natural assets."