In 1954, Cwm Idwal became the first National Nature Reserve (NNR) in Wales. James Robertson not only describes the wildlife, geology and current management of Cwm Idwal but highlights the special history of this reserve, including Charles Darwin’s own experience during his visit.
Heading north-west on Thomas Telford’s historic mountain route through Snowdonia, with Llyn Ogwen to the right, at almost any time of year you pass strings of cars, littering the verges, occupying the pavement, filling up laybys or bagging slots in car parks. A road leads off to the left past a cluster of buildings including an interpretation centre. Here is Ogwen Cottage, the doorway to Cwm Idwal.