Greenacres Nature Reserve

Greenacres Nature Reserve_Rob Booth

Extend your day at the beach with a stroll through this wildlife-rich dune system filled with the characteristic sound of stonechats and skylarks.

Location

Morfa Bychan
Gwynedd
LL49 9YH

OS Map Reference

SH535374
OS Explorer Map 254
A static map of Greenacres

Know before you go

Size
19 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Parking information

Park in the village of Morfa Bychan or approach the reserve from the beach car park at SH529372.

Grazing animals

Cattle, autumn and winter.

Walking trails

There is a public footpath that crosses the reserve and dunes, ending on the beach. Other well-trodden permissive paths exist but can be often submerged at times of high rainfall, especially in winter.

Access

Generally flat and sandy, but be prepared for waterlogged conditions after periods of heavy rain and/or high spring tides.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

Spring / Summer

About the reserve

Saved from development by a close partnership between Bourne Leisure and North Wales Wildlife Trust, Greenacres is a great example of increasingly rare dune habitat. Located in a spectacular coastal landscape, the reserve contains dune grassland, scrub and willow carr habitats. Rare plant species such as variegated horsetail and sharp rush can be seen amongst the more common dune flora and marram grass. Take a moment to sit still among the tall grass and you might be lucky enough to encounter some of the dune-specialist invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles that make Greenacres their home. Scrub and willow provide nesting opportunities for spring migrant birds such as chiffchaff, willow warbler and whitethroat, while ground-nesting species such as oystercatcher and reed bunting find cover in the long grass.

 

Cattle as control

The key habitat management undertaken is light cattle grazing in the winter months, reducing cover of bulky grasses that can smother the delicate wildflowers and dune annuals that attract a wide variety of insects. Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers also control scrub and willow by manual cutting, both to reduce colonisation of botanically rich habitat and create areas of bare sand for invertebrates. These techniques are used outside the bird breeding and flowering seasons to minimise disturbance to native wildlife.
 

Did you know?

Bourne Leisure works closely with the Wildlife Trust to protect this fragile dune grassland habitat. Numerous events are held over the summer to enthuse tourists staying at Greenacres caravan park about the local environment.

Directions
From the centre of Porthmadog, head South West along the road signposted for Porthmadog golf course and Morfa Bychan.  Park in the village of Morfa Bychan and walk towards the beach, along the main road, past Greenacres Holiday Park.  A public footpath sign and gate on the left (SH535374) leads you into the reserve.  Alternatively, approach the reserve from the beach car park at the road’s end (SH529372).

Contact us

North Wales Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01248 351541

Environmental designation

SAC SSSI