Know before you go
Parking informationParking for one or two cars on soft verges at reserve gate
The nature reserve is made up of two separate woodland blocks. Coed Chwarel is a former quarry/landfill site; Coed Brain has the only proper path along an access track to a neighbouring property.
Although a narrow and uneven track runs through Coed Brain, please do not drive past the limited parking area. Due to Coed Chwarel’s previous use as landfill, it has a substantial fence around it, and you will need to contact the Wildlife Trust office for a key to this section.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitSpring/summer
About the reserve
Coed Porthamel was used as a limestone quarry from the time of the ancient Britons right up until the twentieth century. It is separated into two sections around Plas Porthamel: Coed Chwarel is the largest and more southerly part; Coed Brain, to the north, is mainly open woodland. After quarrying ceased, Coed Chwarel was used as landfill in the 1960s – today, however, beautiful, mature broadleaf woodland covers the quarry floor. Although located near the popular Anglesey coast, the woodland feels quiet and secluded, and is a great place to see woodland birds and butterflies.
The Wildlife Trust want to keep the wild, secluded feeling of this woodland so very little intervention is required. Although, due to the site’s previous use as a landfill, some work is necessary to keep the woodland safe, the trees are generally left to mature and regenerate naturally. The reserve’s grassland glades, kept open by manual removal of scrub, are rich in herbs and great places to see butterflies.
Did you know?
It is thought that limestone from the quarry at Coed Pothamel was used to build Caernarfon harbour.
Take the southerly road, signposted to Plas Coch, from the crossroads on the A4080 between Plas Newydd and Brynsiencyn (SH 510 960). Continue past Plas Coch and take the first road on the Right; turning Left and then Right at subsequent junctions. You will see Coed Chwarel on your Right before you reach the farm buildings. There is sufficient parking for one or two cars on the soft verges at the reserve gate (SH 507 678).