Rugged Wales

Iolo Williams takes us to some of the best wild and industrial landscapes in Wales and discovers the wildlife that lives in them.

In episode one, Iolo looks for landscapes created by water and investigates land and mineral wealth exploited in Wales that have become wonderful habitats for wildlife. Iolo explores a hidden gorge in Snowdonia; kayaks down the dramatic River Wye; visits Wales’ version of the everglades on the outskirts of Swansea; goes underground in an impressive disused slate quarry; he finds birdlife thriving on one of Wales’s biggest industrial sites; he discovers how the now abandoned railway lines and canals of the industrial era are rich wildlife habitats and how one of Wales’s huge landlord estates, built with Industrial wealth, is now home to a family of Tawny Owls.

In episode two, Iolo explores his pick of the best lowland and upland landscapes in Wales. He meets characters who share his love of these magnificent places. Coed Crafnant Atlantic oak woodlands on the north west coast of Wales provides Iolo with a rare chance to view the song flight of a Wood Warbler and breeding Pied Flycatchers just back from Africa; joining a local cockle fisherman on the Dee estuary Iolo discovers how they work alongside Atlantic Grey Seals and wading birds in this rich habitat; he explores the Rhinogau mountains in Snowdonia and hears Ring Ouzel and Whinchat singing and learns more about pre-historic man’s use of this rugged terrain; in Coed-y-Brenin, a large commercial forest, Iolo visits a huge wood ants nests and he finds out how because of the restricted use of the Eppynt Army Range for military training there is a diversity of wildlife to be found.


  • Produced & directed by John Gwyn
  • Photography Steve Phillipps
  • Directed by John Gwyn
  • Format 2 x 60 HD
  • Language: English
  • Produced by Aden for BBC Two