Big Pool Wood
Know before you go
Parking informationFind a safe parking spot on the roadside near to the riding school (SJ 102 838) or take the first L to use the car park.
Grazing animalsHorses in adjacent riding school.
There's a circular walk around the pool, this is along board walk as far as the bird hide, the path then follows uneven ground around the remainder of the pool
Although the boardwalk and bird hide make much of the site accessible to visitors of limited mobility, other areas of ground can be uneven and, in places, boggy.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitSpring time for spring flowers and bird song
About the reserve
Birds, boardwalks and bellflowers
Big Pool Wood’s boardwalk and bird hide allow you to get particularly close to wildlife at this lovely little reed bed and woodland nature reserve, packed full of bird and plant life. The ride edges of the woodland turn a vivid blue in spring as the bluebells bloom, whilst the reeds echo with the sounds of reed warblers who arrive in spring from Africa to nest among them. In summer, blue bells of a different kind can be found – the locally rare giant bellflower makes its home here amongst more typical woodland wildflowers – and mallard, coot and moorhen glide in and out of view behind the reeds as the sun shines down.
The site is part of the Dee Estuary Special Protection Area – a protected region that supports over 120,000 waterfowl and waders in the winter. Big Pool Wood both provides shelter and cover for some of these wetland birds and forms part of a wildlife corridor that stretches along the coast all the way to Anglesey; particularly important for migrating birds of all kinds.
Water, water everywhere!
Management at Big Pool Wood focuses on keeping all the different aspects of the site in balance – including maintaining appropriate water levels. Trees are prevented from encroaching into the reeds, which are in turn thinned to maintain channels of open water. The Wildlife Trust are studying the hydrology of the site to explore ways to raise the groundwater levels, benefitting the alder woodland and reed bed in the long term.
Did you know?
Alder contains nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its root nodules (in return, the alder supplies the bacteria with sugars that it makes during photosynthesis). As a result, alder improves the fertility of the soil wherever it grows.
Big Pool Wood lies some 2.5 miles East of Prestatyn. From the A548, follow brown signs to Bridlewood Riding School – the turn-off is opposite the Bells of St Mary’s pub.