The Great Orme Country Park
The Great Orme, named from the Viking word Horma Heva meaning sea monster is 350 million years old and is predominantly limestone rock and grassland.
It was designated as a Special Site of Scientific Interest in 2004 because of its vegetated sea cliffs, lowland coastal heath and limestone grassland
In order to ensure the successful co-existence of all interests, the site is managed as a Country Park and Local Nature Reserve by Conwy County Borough Council’s Countryside Service with support from Mostyn Estates Ltd and the Countryside Council for Wales. Recently part of the Great Orme has been bought by the National Trust to help safeguard the area for the future.
The Orme supports an enormous 500 species of wildflowers and plants including the rock rose and wild cabbage which is nationally rare and the Wild Cotoneaster which is unique to the Orme. The Orme is also home to the rare silver studded blue butterfly and the sea cliffs are a breeding ground for birds such as guillemots, kittiwakes and
During her reign, Queen Victoria presented the town with a pair of Kashmir mountain goats which have now grown into a thriving herd. A management programme to
control the population of the goats has been in place since 2002, which involves
monitoring, relocation to suitable sites and a contraceptive vaccine programme.
In its management of the Great Orme site, Conwy’s Countryside Service undertakes a number of conservation projects.
Habitat management includes the removal of non-native plants such as prostrate cotoneaster in limestone grassland areas. These invasive plants spread to dominate the limestone grassland to the detriment of the rare species within it. Heathland is cut rotationally to form a mosaic,
important to accommodate the different species of wildlife. Work is also undertaken to remove
European gorse from heathland areas, where it dominates the native western gorse and heather species. This year, the site of the Royal Artillery’s World War II Coastal School is being cleared so that the remains of the buildings can be seen.
At the visitor’s centre, a new film is being made about the archaeology and history of the Great Orme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and administered by CADW.
The solar panels installed as part of the Communities and Nature project in 2013 continue to produce enough electricity to power the consumption of three average households.
KS2 Geography curriculum in schools ask pupils to compare their own area to another
locality with Llandudno one of the areas suggested for comparison. A Great Orme
Explorer package for schools has therefore been devised in cooperation with the
Tramway and the Great Orme Mines, enabling the young people to learn about the Great
Orme, its wildlife, geology and history. Over 70 school parties will be accommodated this year.