Featured • September 09, 2023 • Author, Sharon Watkins
Anglesey is home to an incredible 18 nature reserves, five of which are National Nature Reserves (NNR). There are at least 7 local nature reserves (LNR) as well as reserves set up to protect areas designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs). Many of these lie within Anglesey’s area of national beauty. With so many areas where plants and animals are protected, allowing them to thrive in Ynys Mon, which nature reserves in Anglesey are the best to visit?
Let’s find out…..
Our Top 6 Nature Reserves On The Isle of Anglesey
Cemlyn Bay and Lagoon
Nestled in the rugged yet beautiful north coast of Anglesey, the Cemlyn Bay and Lagoon area is both a National Nature Reserve and a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This coastal haven, marked by distinctive rocks, petite bays, and headlands, is a walker’s delight and a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts.
During the warmer months, the bay is abuzz with colonies of Sandwich, common, and Arctic terns, offering a rich display of nature at its finest. The region is home to a vibrant tapestry of plant life, including the rarely spotted rock rose, presenting a dynamic palette of colours and textures that shift with the seasons. Whether it’s the sight of nesting terns in the summer or wildfowl seeking shelter in the winter, a stroll around Cemlyn offers a rich and ever-changing natural spectacle, all framed by the remarkable shingle ridge that separates the brackish lagoon from the sea.
Managed by: National Trust
Address: Cemlyn Nature Reserve, Cemlyn, Cemaes Bay, LL67 0DY
Newborough National Nature Reserve & Forest
A stunning area with a diverse range of habitats, including dunes, forests, and tidal estuaries.
Prepare to be enchanted at Newborough National Nature Reserve & Forest, one of Anglesey’s crowning jewels. Situated in the southwestern corner of the island, this reserve beckons nature lovers with its blissful blend of sprawling forest, majestic sand dunes, and pristine beach that seems to stretch infinitely. It’s not just a feast for the eyes; the symphony of birdsong accompanying your walk adds a delightful auditory layer to the experience. As you wander further, you might stumble upon the mystical Llanddwyn Island, a tranquil retreat offering panoramic views of Snowdonia and the Llŷn Peninsula. Whether you’re an avid bird watcher, a botany enthusiast, or simply seeking a serene escape, Newborough has something delightful up its sleeve for everyone.
Managed by: National Resources Wales
Address: Newborough Forest, Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, LL61 6SG
South Stack Cliffs RSPB Reserve
A popular reserve home to thousands of seabirds, including puffins and guillemots. It is a site awarded SSSI, and SPA and is in an Area of Outstanding National Beauty.
Get ready to be swept off your feet at the iconic South Stack Cliffs RSPB Reserve, a true marvel of Anglesey’s natural landscape. Perched on the north-western tip of the island, this reserve offers a dramatic encounter with nature, where towering cliffs meet the crashing waves of the Irish Sea. It’s a haven for seabird enthusiasts, hosting a bustling community of guillemots, razorbills, and charming puffins, especially during the nesting season. The vivid spectacle of blooming wildflowers adds a splash of colour to the already stunning scenery, offering a picturesque backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Don’t forget to visit the iconic South Stack Lighthouse, where you can enjoy panoramic vistas and perhaps catch a glorious sunset. So, grab your binoculars and set forth for an exhilarating day of birdwatching and sightseeing at the magnificent South Stack Cliffs.
Managed by: RSPB
Address: RSPB South Stack, S Stack Rd, Holyhead LL65 1YH
Cors Bodeilio National Nature Reserve In Anglesey
A fenland reserve home to various species of plants, insects, and birds.
Embark on a serene journey to the heart of Anglesey at the Cors Bodeilio National Nature Reserve, a hidden gem offering an oasis of peace amidst lush landscapes. Nestled amidst the island’s picturesque countryside, this fenland reserve is a green haven flourishing with vibrant hues of flora that dance to the gentle breeze. The floating water lilies and carpets of swaying reeds create a painterly scene, straight out of an impressionist’s canvas. It’s a paradise for birdwatchers too, where you might spot a variety of winged visitors, from sedge warblers to snipes, filling the air with melodious tunes. And with the changing seasons, the reserve dons different shades, each more mesmerising than the last, promising a fresh and beautiful experience on every visit. So, lace up your walking boots and let Cors Bodeilio captivate your senses with its untouched beauty and tranquil charm. Make sure you look out for the rare near-threatened Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, their main flight period is between May to September.
Managed by: National Resources Wales
Address: Pentraeth LL75
The Dingle (Nant y Pandy) Nature Reserve
A woodland reserve with a network of trails and a rich variety of bird species.
Step into the verdant embrace of The Dingle (Nant y Pandy) Nature Reserve, where nature whispers tales of tranquillity and wonder. Wander through the woodland trails amidst the comforting shade of towering trees and the soothing sound of the babbling stream. It’s a perfect retreat for families, with its well-maintained paths offering easy access for all, inviting you to discover the serene corners of this woodland haven at your own pace.
Managed by: Anglesey County Council
Address: The Dingle, Colwyn Bay LL29 8HF
Cors Ddyg RSPB Reserve
A reserve, (previously called Malltraeth Marsh) consisting of reedbeds and wetlands, attracts a variety of birds including waterfowl and waders.
Embark on a delightful jaunt to the Cors Ddyg, a lush sanctuary nestled in the heart of the island. Here, meandering pathways guide you through wetlands humming with the sounds of bustling wildlife. Keep an eye out for the magnificent array of bird species that have found their home here, offering a splendid treat for birdwatching aficionados. The reserve transforms into a picturesque canvas with each season, promising a new and exhilarating experience upon every visit.
Managed by: RSPB
Address: Tai’r Gors, Pentre Berw, Gaerwen LL60 6LB
Other Top Locations To Spot Wildlife, Plants and Animals Around Anglesey
- Cors Goch – A nationally important wetland reserve, home to a variety of flora and fauna including orchids and newts.
- Valley Wetlands RSPB Reserve – Comprises a series of lakes and reedbeds, and is a great place to observe various waterbirds including swans and ducks.
- Cors Erddreiniog – This is the largest fen in Wales, and it’s home to a rich variety of wetland plants and animals, including many rare species.
- Llyn Maelog: Renowned for its serene beauty, Llyn Maelog, (SSSI) is a picturesque lake, offering locals and visitors alike a tranquil setting for leisurely walks, picnics, and bird-watching, with its rich ecosystem brimming with diverse flora and fauna.
- Aberlleiniog Castle and Woods – The woodland and river habitat are home to various species of birds and mammals.
- Beddmanarch-Cymyran – SSSI. A site that encompasses a range of habitats including coastal, wetland, and estuarine environments with rich biodiversity.
- Porth Diana Nature Reserve: Nestled along the scenic coastline, Porth Diana Nature Reserve is a haven of tranquillity, where visitors can immerse themselves in pristine landscapes and witness the harmonious coexistence of diverse flora and fauna.
- Coed Porth-aml Nature Reserve: Enveloped by the rejuvenating embrace of lush woodlands, Coed Porth-aml Nature Reserve stands as a testament to nature’s splendour, offering hiking enthusiasts a chance to explore winding trails that unveil breathtaking vistas and quiet spots for reflection and relaxation.
Are you looking for other things to do and see in Anglesey?