Nature in Llanfairfechan

Llanfairfechan is rich in nature with it’s excellent location sheltered by the mountains and reaching down to the Menai Straits. Benefitting from a micro-climate, the landscape is rich in flora and fauna.

Llanfairfechan provides some of the best birdwatching in North Wales. At anytime of the year many people are attracted by the prospect of seeing several species of seabirds and waterfowl along it’s beaches, saltmarsh & river.

During the autumn and winter it supports the largest known coastal moulting population of great-crested grebe in Britain, along with large numbers of red-breasted merganser and goldeneye.

In addition to this, birdwatchers flock to the area to spot large numbers of wading birds which come to Traeth Lafan to overwinter, or on passage during spring and autumn migrations.

Traeth Lafan is made up of 4 sections beginning with Glan Mor Elias at the end of Llanfairfechan Promenade. Made up of saltmarsh, this area is a great place to watch birds at all sections of the tide. Birds commonly seen along this stretch are Teal, Mallard and Shelduck.

Beyond Glan Mor Elias, the footpath leads on to Morfa Madryn consisting of low lying marshy fields and landscaped shallow pools. The reserve attracts a variety of birds throughout the year which can be spotted from the hides situated along the reserve.

Heading towards Abergwyngregin you will find Morfa Aber, a wetland area with a bird hide overlooking the saltmarsh where you will see a variety of wildfowl and waders including Oystercatchers and Curlews.

Finally, continuing to head westbound, you reach The Spinnies, a coastal lagoon alongside the Afon Ogwen estuary. There are over 45 summer resident bird species with further species visiting over the winter. 22 species of butterfly have also been spotted in this area.

This area is a great example of Victorian recreational land. Once part of the Newry Estate, it was leased to a local business and in the late 1800’s who developed it for recreational purposes. Pre-world war 1 visitors would have been well to do, arriving to the woodland on horseback. Visitors in the 1920’s and 30’s would have been the working masses who would have been able to enjoy tea in a refreshment hut by the fish pond.

Nowadays, the area is owned by Conwy County Borough Council and is recognised as a nature reserve, home to numerous oak, alder ash and sycamore trees and a lovely show of bluebells in the spring.

A number of birds can be spotted around the woodland including the pied flycatcher, grey wagtail and the occasional heron.

Further details about Llanfairfechan nature reserves can be found here.

Research has been carried out by Aberystwyth University which suggests that the Carneddau Ponies living on the Carneddau Mountains have been isolated for at least several hundred years and are a genetically distinct population. Local farmers including Gareth Wyn Jones, are campaigning for the breed to be given rare breed status to help protect the population.

These ponies play a vital role in the ecology of the Snowdonia National Park as they are involved in a grazing scheme maintaining preferred habitat for the endangered bird, the Red -Billed Choughs.

These ponies can be spotted along the footpaths throughout the Carneddau Mountain range and are a sight of rare beauty.

Protecting the heritage of the Carneddau ponies

The mystical Carneddau ponies have roamed the mountains of Wales for thousands of years. 📺 See more when ITV Coast & Country returns this Friday at 8pm on ITV Cymru Wales.

Posted by ITV Wales on Thursday, 26 April 2018

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