The Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Denbighshire Countryside and Heritage Service have lifted the lid on their year-round programme of events with The Big Draw event at Plas Newydd, Llangollen, just one of the activities planned.

The Big Draw, part of the National Lottery Heritage-funded Our Picturesque Landscape Project (OPL), aims to bring family and friends together to create artwork inspired by the paintings of famed landscape artists Turner, and Richard Wilson and Edward Pugh who were both born in North Wales.

Artwork created during the project will eventually go on display at Llangollen Pavilion and Ty Pawb, Wrexham.

But it’s not just art in the frame. The night skies will provide an opportunity to learn about the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s countryside and nature. Bat walks, moth trapping and an evening spotting the elusive Nightjar – a nocturnal bird known for its silent flight – are planned.

A number of Dark Sky sessions will be held in conjunction with Wrexham’s Techniquest, including a craft day at Loggerheads Country Park which ties in with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. Star-gazing at Nercwys, sunsets at Llangwyfan, and spotting meteorites in Corwen are just some of the additional night time-themed activities.

Budding gardeners are not left out with an introduction to topiary from the head gardener at Plas Newydd, Llangollen, and the opportunity to explore historically important gardens at Nantclwyd y Dre in Ruthin.

Cllr Tony Thomas, chair of the AONB Joint Committee and lead member for the environment, said: “Our events’ programme has something for everyone, people of all ages and abilities.

We have a diverse range of activities with craft making, garden tours, short walks, long walks, dry stone walling, bug hunts, outdoor play, and seasonal fairs included in the line-up.

“Every month is packed full of things to do, explore, and learn, right across Denbighshire and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. People spend so long looking at pictures and views on their phones, but the most inspiring landscapes and vistas are actually right there in front of us.

“This year, more than ever, we want to encourage people to not only explore, discover and enjoy the countryside but also to help us preserve it by learning traditional skills such as dry-stone walling.

“In every area we cover, there is an event of some kind – historical walks, feeding spring lambs, health and well-being, mountain biking and more. Many are free to attend, so this is very much the year to get out and about, discover the great outdoors and pick up new skills along the way,” added Cllr Thomas.

All the events feature in the Out & About booklet which can be picked up at The Visitor Centre, Loggerheads Country Park, Plas Newydd, Llangollen, Rhyl, Llangollen, Wrexham Tourist Information Centres, as well as libraries or download at or

Events and activities can also be booked through