This prominent woodland stretches across the slopes behind the town of Colwyn Bay. The wood is almost entirely deciduous with a variety of native trees and exotic species such as sweet chestnut and firs. Mature trees impart character to the woodland whilst two streams provide an attractive feature as they forge their way through deep dingles in the ancient part of the wood. Birds to be seen and heard in the wood include Jay, Buzzard, Nuthatch, Great spotted woodpecker, Treecreeper and Tawny owl.
The name “Pwllycrochan” is thought to translate to mean ‘Cauldron Pool’. The pool referred to lies at the bottom of a steep wooded dingle and was created by the stream that runs down into it. The stream probably used to run much faster than it does now and created a pool of well oxygenated, bubbling water at its base.
This remnant of ancient woodland covers 21 hectares in total, but it is divided into three ‘islands’ by roads that bound it and cut through it ; i.e King’s Drive and Llanrwst Road. However, despite the proximity of the highways, the woodlands retain much of their tranquility and walking between the wonderful towering trees, some of which must have been growing steadily throughout at least a couple of centuries, instills the feeling of calm and peace that I believe is intrinsic to old woodlands.
Today, in the middle of August, it was exceptionally quiet here, with no birdsong and very few other people around, so the sudden sounds made by a grey squirrel foraging through the branches of a beech tree above my head made me jump. Apart from a couple of glimpses of Robins, a Blackbird, and at the end of my walk a Jay, there is little else to report in terms of sights and sounds of fauna.
This was my first visit to this woodland and although I had it in mind to find the pool that gives it its name, I had no idea where it was to be found, so I just wandered along sections of tracks that wind around through the trees. Most are easy walking, either flat or slightly sloping, while others require a bit more of an uphill effort and I imagine could get quite slippery in wet weather.
I think the photographs I took are descriptive enough to convey the essence of a wander through this lovely woodland, so here are just a few of the many I took:
I finally came upon the famous ‘cauldron pool’, but probably due to the lack of rainfall earlier on this year, its water level was low and despite some recent renovations to its retaining walls, it was looking rather sad, so I decided to protect its reputation and not take a photograph this time.
Finally, on the woodland edge: