Nant y Coed nature reserve, Llanfairfechan
The area covered by this Local Nature Reserve was once part of the Newry estate. Newry was the house now called Plas Heulog. Newry Drive, where the main entrance to the reserve is located, was built c.1912 for the owner to drive his car to the house. The alternative route, Mount Road, was too steep for cars in the early years of motoring.
The area was leased in the late 19th century to local businessman John Rowland Jones, who developed it for recreational purposes. Initially horses brought well-heeled visitors. After the First World War the general population came here for recreation and paid an entrance fee. A charge was levied for fishing, and refreshments were available.
The Newry estate was sold in 1923 and in 1924 Llanfairfechan Urban District Council bought Nant y Coed, which is now owned by Conwy County Borough Council.
The steep scree slope above the pond is populated by sessile oak. “Sessile” denotes an object fixed directly to its base, and acorn cup of the sessile oak has no stalk. Bell heather and bilberry also grow on the scree. Trees along the valley bottom include alder, ash and sycamore. In spring the area is coloured by flowers such as bluebell, wood anemone and wood sorrel.
Birds seen here include redstart, pied flycatcher and buzzard. Look out for dipper and grey wagtail along the Llanfairfechan river.
Several walks are waymarked in the reserve. On clear days there are views across the Menai Strait to Anglesey from the scree-slope circuit.