Helicopter help was on hand to help Rangers from the Clwydian Range & Dee Valley AONB undertake important works on the picturesque slopes of Castell Dinas Brân.

Earlier in the autumn – and under the expert guidance of archaeologists from Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT) – Rangers, volunteers and contractors excavated close to 35 tonnes of material from the castle gatehouse as part of the exciting restoration works taking place at the castle.

All of the excavated material was bagged up, ready to be airlifted directly onto one of the key routes that meanders to the summit.

This section of footpath has become heavily eroded and has widened considerably in recent years, threatening the population of nationally scarce plants such as upright chickweed and shepherd’s cress that are to be found here at Dinas Brân.

Skilled contractors will then use this material to repair damaged sections of the trail.

Rhun Jones, Senior Ranger in the Dee Valley said “Working in partnership with Cadw and CPAT, this has been a really exciting project – and not just because we have a helicopter here to move all of the material!”

“When planning the project, we knew that in restoring the castle and clearing the gatehouse, we’d generate a lot of waste. But we saw this as an ideal opportunity to use the cleared material to improve access opportunities whilst also safeguarding the fragile grassland habitat too so that everyone can continue to enjoy Dinas Brân’s rich natural and historical heritage.”

The castle restoration work is being delivered through the Our Picturesque Landscape project, a landscape partnership scheme funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with additional support and funding provided by Cadw.

Councillor Win Mullen James, Denbighshire Cabinet Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, said: “This is a fantastic piece of collaborative work and I look forward to seeing the end results at such a prominent Llangollen landmark. “