A documentary programme that reveals how a network of 12 bells including ones on the coastline of Anglesey and Gwynedd are tolling warning about rising sea levels has

been sold to be shown in 50 countries worldwide.

The global co-production was led by North Wales television company, Cwmni Da, who are also celebrating after the series about the world’s tides won a major international

award Llanw (Tide) was honoured with the Silver Dragon Award at the prestigious China International Congress of Science and Education Producers in Beijing where big names like National Geographic were also vying for glory.

The double dose of good news has come at a momentous time for Caernarfon-based Cwmni Da which is in its first year as an Employee Owned Company.

The Time and Tide bells have been installed to warn of high tides which cause them to ring more and more often these days.

In Wales the bells are already in place at Cemaes on Anglesey and at Aberdyfi where legend has it the tolling of bells is all that’s left of the land of Cantre’r Gwaelod.

Legend has it that the fertile, low lying kingdom of was submerged forever beneath the waters of Cardigan Bay in the fourth century after the drunken guardian of the sea defences, Seithennyn, forgot to shut the sea gates because he had got drunk at a feast.

It was a stormy night and the high spring tides broke through, quickly flooding Cantre’r Gwaelod, and forcing its people to flee to the hills.

The enduring tale was immortalised in the song 'Clychau Aberdyfi (The Bells of Aberdyfi).

The story of the bells, including another of them just off the coast of the tiny island of Bernera in the Outer Hebrides, is told in a major new three-part television series, Llanw (Tide), made by Caernarfon-based television company Cwmni Da.

To make the ambitious £600,000 three-part series which was shown on S4C over the summer, Cwmni Da sent crews to four continents, taking in 10 countries and the Arctic.

The partnership also included TG4 in the Republic of Ireland, BBC Northern Ireland, MG Alba in Scotland and the LIC, the largest independent television production company in China.

Distributor Sky Vision also invested in the project via a Welsh Government fund which they administer.

The Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic and English versions of the series were  edited at Cwmni Da’s state-of-the-art production centre in Caernarfon.

The series is being distributed in Greater China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan by LIC and Sky Vision and it’s now been sold other broadcasters in three continents, including Africa where it will be seen in more than 40 countries.

Dylan Huws, the managing director of Cwmni Da, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that Llanw has won this hugely prestigious award from China. It’s a feather in our cap and it gives us a great sense of pride.

“It’s an award for everybody who has contributed to the series, the backing that we got from the broadcasters and the faith they showed in us to carry this through, and now our production partners in Scotland, Ireland and obviously over in China.

“We were competing with some of the big boys of global television, huge companies like National Geographic.

“It was particularly appropriate that we won the Silver Dragon Award because one of the episodes feature the Silver Dragon Bore in Hangzhou Bay in China which was totally amazing.  There were 100,000 people on the banks of the river celebrating the annual Harvest Moon festival and witnessing the arrival of the tidal bore which travels at 20 mph and is a bit like a tsunami coming upriver.

“I think what appealed to the judges was the originality in the subject matter and the way that we approached it by illustrating human interest stories and showing how the tide affected people.

“I think it’s that human angle that might have made the difference, that and the fact we filmed in spectacular places around the world.

“The challenge with doing these international co-productions is actually trying to tailor it so that your home audience feels that it’s bespoke for them. I think we managed to do that.

“The scale of the production was hugely ambitious. We filmed in almost all the continents, in 10  different countries.

“We have really good working relationships with our co-production partners, and everybody went that extra mile to make sure that the end product is what it is today, which is high quality content.

“In the process we’ve forged some really good partnerships with broadcasters which will stand us in good stead when it comes to other productions in future.

“The Tide project was I think the first time that we got all the Celtic broadcasters together.

“It helped us to create a new kind of partnership model and we’re already discussing  the possibility of follow up series with the same partners. Watch this space.”