In this month’s Discovering Britain #trail, Laura Cole explores Coed Felinrhyd, an ancient rainforest hidden in North Wales
The forest looks like it’s on something – extra fertiliser, steroids, or a mysterious science-fiction chemical? Being tucked away beyond Maentwrog Power Station, a humming 30MW hydropower plant, only adds to this feeling of an experiment gone wrong, or wonderfully right
At Coed Felinrhyd the plants are intense. All around, young ferns uncurl their seahorse-heads from clumps of moss, which have grown so big and fleecy they could almost sprout legs and frolic away. Oak trees hold tight fistfuls of their new leaves – shocks of neon and yellow against the dark backdrop of the gorge. There is rain from above, a stream hissing below, and everything in-between is sopping wet. ‘It is a genuine #temperate #rainforest,’ says Kylie Mattock, who manages the forest for the Woodland Trust. Forests like this would once have covered the western seaboard of Europe but now are extremely rare habitats on the continent. In the UK, fragments exist on the steep sides of rivers and gorges, away from the pressure of grazing and deforestation. Parts of these woods are so untouched, the hazel and sessile oak are thought to have been growing uninterrupted since the end of the last Ice Age.
For the full article, visit geographical.co.uk