Pyramidal orchid

Pyramidal orchid - Paul Lane

Silver studded blue butterfly

Silver studded blue_Guy Edwardes2020VISION

A slice of limestone grassland and maritime heath on the western slopes of the famous Great Orme, teeming with butterflies and wildflowers.

Location

Llandudno
Conwy
LL30 2XA

OS Map Reference

SH761830
OS Explorer Map OL17
A static map of Gogarth

Know before you go

Size
3 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Park at the bottom of Marine Drive along West Shore. Walk up the west side of the Great Orme to the reserve.

Grazing animals

Sheep and goats, all year round.

Walking trails

There are no paths on the reserve, it is best viewed from Marine Drive above.

Access

Sandwiched between Llys Helig and Marine Drives on the west side of the Great Orme.
This site sits on a steeply sloping grassy bank, which makes walking difficult. It is best viewed from Marine Drive above.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

Spring and summer

About the reserve

The steep angle of this site has probably helped to keep it protected – especially when the grass is frequently interspersed with patches of prickly gorse and blackthorn scrub! Thankfully, viewing it from Marine Drive is actually a great way to see two of the reserve’s most special species: playful, chattering choughs and the beautiful silver-studded blue butterfly (here, in fact, a subspecies found only on and around the Great Orme). The grassland is rich with limestone-loving flowers – common and hoary rock-rose, wild thyme, pyramidal orchid, eyebright, carline thistle and tormentil – and, at night, the faint green lights of glow-worms move amongst the grass.

 

Grazing by goats

The Wildlife Trust’s management here aims to keep a careful balance between plant-rich grassland and the scrub that birds need for nesting.  To help achieve this, the site is grazed by sheep and goats, whilst gorse and blackthorn are manually controlled to contain their spread.

Did you know?

The name ‘Orme’ is thought to come from the old Norse word ‘urm’ or ‘orm’, meaning sea serpent.  This refers to the headland’s appearance, rising from the sea like a snake’s head.

Directions
Gogarth is found on the west side of the Great Orme. Take the A546 to Llandudno’s West Shore, leaving this road for West Parade to keep the sea as close as possible on the Left. Park around where this road merges into Abbey Road and walk up and onto Marine Drive. After approximately 15 minutes, head into the small shelter on the Left (SH 759 831) – you are over-looking the reserve from here.

Contact us

North Wales Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01248 351541

Environmental designation

SAC SSSI
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)