After over 12 months in North Wales I am just scraping at the surface of things to discover and among other things I have been amazed at is how many Nature Reserves there are and if you don’t know the area where you live that well, then they are a good place to start in discovering it.
Most of them are managed by the North Wales Wildlife Trust or by the local council such as Conwy and in some cases they have been denoted a Site of Special Scientific Interest. In total Conwy manages 22 sites Gwynedd list 8 sites and the Wildlife Trust have over 30(which you can discover via their mobile app).
Better known sites designated as nature reserves are Conwy Mountain and the Great Orme but there are so many more besides. One I particularly like is The Spinnies at Aberogwen, it is very popular with birdwatchers and they have an informative Facebook page. However what caught my interest is the wonderful shingle beach. The car park is down by the beach and the reserve can also be accessed there.
The RSPB reserve at Conwy is definitely worth a visit with some fantastic views towards the Carneddau, although there is an admission fee. If like me you are not that knowledgeable when it comes to birds then they have regular guided walks, which are detailed on their website.
Sometimes nature reserves are where you least expect, as obviously over time towns have grown up around them. One such place is Bryn Euryn, which is on the edge of Rhos-on-Sea and accessed by a road alongside Hickory’s Smokehouse. It is well worth a visit as on the way to the summit you will pass the remains of Llyn Euryn a 14 century mansion. From the summit, which was the location of a 6th century hillfort, you get amazing views looking towards Colwyn Bay and Conwy Estuary.
One reserve which deserves a special mention is Pensychnant Nature Reserve. as it is independently run.
Perhaps because of this they have to work a bit harder in attracting visitors and as a result there is a full events programme which includes talks, walks and the opportunity to learn dry stone walling! There is also refreshments and plant sales and amazing views of the Sychnant Pass. As I also discovered recently on a walk it extends to the opposite side of the road.
Pensychnant Nature Reserve: