Friends of the Alyn Valley Woods
Home Page 


We are now using Facebook to display recent FOAVW activities. There is a lot there that will not be displayed here. REMEMBER: you have to click the "Like" button, in order to see stuff on Facebook.
Click here to go to Facebook and search "Alyn Valley".

NEW: Cilcain Bird Walk May 26th 2014 (9.00am-12.30).

Five FOAVW members joined the walk lead by Glenn Morris on the Cilcain moors with views stretching from the Mersey to the Arenigs and Snowdonia. 36 bird species were seen in the following order: Red-legged Partridge (pair) Whitethroat (4+ displaying) Song Thrush Rook (30+) Yellowhammer Chiffchaff Wren Great Tit Blackcap Blackbird Great Spotted Woodpecker Longtailed Tit (pair) Chaffinch Robin (inc juvenile) Wood Pigeon Swallow House Sparrow Redstart (3+ singing males) Blue Tit Willow Warbler Mistle Thrush (pair) Magpie Buzzard (2+) Pied Wagtail Jackdaw (100) Crow (4) Raven (2) Cuckoo (heard) Kestrel (2) Linnet (10+ nest building) Dunnock Meadow Pipit (3+ displaying) Stonechat (2 pairs) Pheasant Skylark Collared Dove

NEW: Annual Review of 2011 (Gill Dobson) Click to view it.

  • NEW: Minutes of the 2011 AGM Click to view it.

  • Nest boxes in Alyn Valley Woods. Report by Tessa Anning

  • Although the nest boxes, made with members help, have been in place for a couple of seasons already it wasn't until 2011 that I decided to find out what was using them. So I joined the BTO nest record scheme and started observations in April.
  • Of the 20 boxes made, with Pied Flycatchers in mind, two have "gone missing" and of the remaining 18, three were unused this year. Out of the remaining 15, Blue Tits used 9 and Great Tits used 6. The success rate was notably better with the Blue Tits.
  • After a warm and dry April things got started quite well but the following May and June period proved difficult for raising broods with cold winds and rain. Out of the 9 Blue Tit nests, 60 birds were fledged. Out of the 6 Great Tit nests 22 birds were fledged.
  • I was really surprised to find the clutch sizes were much smaller than I expected, possibly due to poor weather conditions. The largest clutch being 9 eggs and the average only 6.
  • As Blue Tits and Great Tits generally only lay one clutch per season my observations ceased in June but I checked later on to see if anything else had taken up residence, unfortunately the boxes remained unused.
  • Tessa Anning.

    April 15th, 2007. Inaugural Meeting at Pen-y-Fron Chapel (27 people) was preceded by a woodland walk.

    Nov 2007 – AGM & Talk: The Caves and Mining History of the Alyn Valley by Peter Appleton of North Wales Caving Club. Attended by 30 members.

    Feb 2008 - Dormouse Talk by Rhian Hughes, North Wales Wildllife Trust (22 people)

    Group picture!

    Aug 2008 Pantymwyn Show - Spot the Helleborine Quiz and displays. - 5 new members enrolled.

    Dec 4th 2008 AGM and Talk: Nine Bat species in the Alyn Valley by Karl Martin, Reserves Ranger from North East Wales Wildlife.

    Thursday 18th December : Carol Singing & Christmas Social Carol Singing : 6.30pm,The Crown Inn, Pantymwyn Christmas Social : 8pm, Pen-y-Fron Road, Pantymwyn

    March 5th, 2009 Thursday 7.30pm Pantymwyn Village Hall
    Jan Miller, North Wales Branch of Butterfly Conservation

    November, 2009. FOAVW put up display boards detailing some of the wildlife to be found in the area at ‘Memories Day’ arranged by Gwernaffield and Pantymwyn Community Council the previous Saturday at Gwernaffield Church Hall as part of the Landscape Heritage Project. (Carole Philpot).

    December 1st 2009 AGM held at Crown Inn, Pantymwyn (15 people attended)

    Thursday 11th February, 2010 at 7.30pm at Mold Golf Club, Pantymwyn
    An illustrated talk on the history of the Pantymwyn area
    Brian Bennett (a popular topic, with 80 people attending)


    June 10th, 2007 Pantymwyn Bird Walk (Glenn Morris + 12 people). Birds included a family of treecreepers and a sparrowhawk.

    Aug 3rd 2007 – Evening Badger Watch at Cilcain (Mick Brummage + 8 people). Brief views near the sett at dusk.

    March 2008 - Caving trip in Alyn Valley with North Wales Caving Club (Gill Dobson + 7 brave people!)

    April 2008 - Black Grouse Lek at Llandegla Forest RSPB hide (Gill Dobson + 8 people). A great success with excellent and prolonged views of this species, which also breeds closer to home at Moel Famau.

    April 13th 2008 brought unlucky weather conditions for the Hares & Birds Walk to Nercwys Forest and Bryn Alyn ( Glenn Morris and 18 people). 23 spp included siskin, wheatear and meadow pipit, but a newborn lamb (below) was a major attraction.

    Group picture!

    May 4th 2008 - International Dawn Chorus Walk over Pantymwyn Pastures (Glenn Morris + 4 people). 4.45am-6.15am. The amazing intensity of hundreds of Blackbirds and Thrushes at dawn was complemented by five spring migrants, including lesser whitethroat and garden warbler.

    May 8th 2008 Rhydymwyn Valley Nature Reserve, guided walk led by Kylie Jones, North East Wales Wildlife. (9 people)

    Group picture!

    May 24th, 2008. Mammal Training Day at Rhydymwyn Valley Nature Reserve (organised by North East Wales Wildlife). Wood mice and bank voles at close quarters.

    Group picture!

    May 31st 2008 Reptile Ramble at Rhydymwyn Valley Nature Reserve (Mick Brummage). Slowworms were the star attraction, together with Dingy Skipper butterflies.

    Group picture!

    June 11th 2008 - Orchid Walk over Pantymwyn Pastures (Mick Brummage + 12 people).

    May 3rd and 9th 2009 - International Dawn Chorus Walk over Pantymwyn Pastures (Glenn Morris + 5 people). 4.45am-6.15am. Windy and unsettled weather reduced the sound effect of Blackbirds and Thrushes, compared with 2008, and seemed to inhibit the robins and dunnocks, but lesser whitethroat was singing loudly, with blackcap, chiffchaff and willow warbler joining in occasionally. Although few people took part in the Walk, everyone from 2008 returned again in 2009 for a repeat performance.

  • [The 8.00am bird walk on May 3rd was called off because of very heavy rain.]

    June 9th 2009 - Orchid Walk, Pantymwyn Pastures (Mick Brummage + 8 people).

    Group picture!
    Lesser Butterfly Orchid

  • Part of Flintshire’s Biodiversity Week event programme.


    April 2008 - Dormouse Nest Box Building at Loggerheads Country Park (14 people).

    Group picture!

    July and August 2008 - Himalayan Balsam pulling walks (6 people) - Green Flowered Helleborine survey - Butterfly survey

    Sept 2008 - Dormouse Box installation with Brownies (12 brownies, 5 adults, 4 new members) Dormouse Nut Hunt (6 people)

    Saturday 6th December : Give a Dormouse a Home this Christmas 11am, Pen-y-Fron Chapel

    March 14th Saturday 10.30am-12.30 Building nestboxes for pied flycatchers. Pantymwyn
    Twenty boxes were built by a team of 6 people, led by Richard Anning

    April 4th Saturday 10.30am-12.30 Putting up nestboxes for pied flycatchers in local woods
    Twenty boxes were erected, with landowner consent,in the northern (downstream) part of the woods.

    Group picture!

    July 4th Saturday 11.00am-15.00 Removal of Himalayan Balsam from the Alyn River Valley
    Over 40 people took part in this event in the heavily-infested Devil's Gorge area of the valley. Weekday and evening events were held in other parts of the river. Why is this plant bad? Ask the Open University

  • Group picture!

    • Sept 2009 - Dormouse Box Survey/Cleaning with Brownies followed by bat walk (14 brownies, 4 adults, 3 members)

    Sunday 2nd May Dawn Chorus Bird Walk
    The fields were alive with the sound of blackbirds and robins at first light (4.45am), but the highlight was a lesser whitethroat singing at its usual spot. Other songs were chiffchaff and willow warbler. A continuation of the walk down towards Devil's Gorge added house sparrow, coal tit, nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, jay and sparrowhawk.

    Thursday 12 May 7pm Bluebell Walk Pen y Fron Chapel
    Friends of Alyn Valley Woods and members of Pen - y Fron Chapel met on Wednesday evening at the Chapel for a bluebell walk along the valley. Amongst the species of wildflowers that were spotted included ancient woodland indicator species Wood Anemone and Goldilocks Other species seen: native english Blue bells as well as the non native spanish variety, Wild Garlic, Butterbur, Greater Celandine, Lesser celandine, Dog Violets, Purple Vetch, Sweet Cicely, Periwinkle, Dog Mercury, Stichwort, Toothwort, White Dead Nettle and Yellow Arch Angels

    July 2010

    Friends of Alyn Valley Woods Himalayan Balsam Campaign 2010

    Himalayan Balsam is once again taking a hold along the length of the River Alyn from Loggerheads to Rhydymwyn and we need your help to eradicate it before it sets seed.

    Wed 7th July, 7 to 9pm meeting at Pont Newydd

  • Fri 9th July, 6.30 to 8.30pm meeting at the junction of Cefn Bychan Road and Cilcain Road (with Trinity Famau scouts and cubs)
  • Wed 14th July, 6 to 7.30pm meeting at Alyn Kennels, near the southern boundary of Loggerheads Country Park (with Gwernaffield Brownies)
  • Wed 21st July, 7 to 9pm meeting at Pen-y-fron Chapel
  • Wed 28th July, 7 to 9pm meeting at Pen-y-fron Chapel.

    August 11th 2010 at Pen y Fron Chapel An evening walk discovering something about the history ‘neath our feet that has shaped the Alyn Valley Woods and also a chance to see some of the rare wild flowers that grow in the area.

    August 21st Pantymwyn Show Come and meet us at the Friends of Alyn Valley Woods Stand

    September, 2010 Bats at Dusk meeting at Pen y Fron Chapel A walk led by Karl Martin from North East Wales Wildlife. Date TBA.