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Ddôl Bach, Llanfair Talhaiarn


Summary (optional)
Nestled in the centre of Llanfair Talhaiarn, Ddôl Bach may be small but it is the perfect location to sit and watch riverside wildlife.
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Why visit?

  • River views
  • Wildlife spotting

Ddôl Bach hugs the edge of the river Elwy. An area of open grassland with small pond and maturing woodland, it’s a valuable habitat for wildlife. 

What wildlife will you discover?

While sitting on the riverside bench, you may glimpse the colourful kingfisher feeding from the low hanging willow tree branches.

Follow the path through Ddôl Bach to find wildflowers such as common cat’s-ear, dandelion, cow parsley and red campion.

Ancient woodland indicators, wild garlic (ramsons) and native bluebells welcome you in the spring flowering on the upper wooded bank.

A variety of trees planted in 2000 as part of an environmental enhancement scheme complement the older semi-mature oaks on the upper wooded bank.

Our native sessile oak and English oak (pendunculate) support more life than any other native tree and are each home to over 250 insect species. The textured bark is a habitat for mosses, lichens and liverworts.  The deadwood crevices are ideal for nesting birds and roosting bats.  We also have bat boxes up on some trees to give our native bat species a helping hand.

Other trees growing at Ddôl Bach include a variety of willow species, wild cherry, wych elm, hazel, elder and common ash trees.

Characterful small birds squabble amongst the trees. Expect to see blackbird, house sparrow, robin, blue tit, great tit, and the great spotted woodpecker.

The open woodland and riverside at Ddôl Bach are also excellent places to spot common pipistrelles or Daubenton’s bats feeding at dusk.

Other mammals that you might see are the grey squirrel and the wood mouse. You can find more detailed information on the different wildlife species at North Wales Wildlife Trust website.

Common hogweed can be found here at the sides of the path – take care if you suffer with allergies.

The stinging nettle grows tall here where the ground is nutrient rich. While hated by many, they offer refuge to small tortoiseshell and peacock butterfly larvae, which feed in large groups hidden in silken tents at the top of the nettle stems.

In late summer, the huge quantity of seed produced provides food for many birds.

Alien Invasion

We have a battle on our hands to control the spread of an alien invasive plant species called Himalayan Balsam. Because the river Elwy floods, the seeds are dumped in huge numbers.  It’s growing so densely that we can’t control it as we used to by pulling up the shallow rooted stems and squishing them to stop regrowth. We are now cutting it twice yearly for 3 consecutive years to try to break its stronghold. Unfortunately all the other grasses and flowers are being affected while we do this work.  

You can find more information on Himalayan Balsam on the North Wales Wildlife Trust website.

 Facilities

  • Benches on the riverbank and higher up on the public footpath
  • Free car park opposite the Black Lion pub car park (LL22 8RT)
  • Public toilets in the car park

Dogs are allowed on the site, but they must be kept on a lead at all times, especially when crossing farmland.  Please always pick up after your dog.

Please read the Countryside Code before visiting.


How to get there

Walking & cycling

From the Post Office in the village centre, walk along Water Street towards the river. Turn right onto School Lane – the old bridge will be directly in front of you. The site is the first right next to the bridge.

Alternatively, follow the public footpath through Swan Square opposite the Post Office, which will lead you to the site.

Public transport

The nearest bus stop to Ddôl Bach is the Post Office stop in Llanfair Talhaiarn village. From here, it’s a few minutes’ walk using the walking directions above.

Driving:

Llanfair Talhaiarn is on the A5458, which links Abergele and Llanrwst. The nearest postcode for Ddôl Bach is the Swan square in the centre of the village: LL22 8RY. There is a free car park opposite the Black Lion pub.


What’s nearby?

There are several public footpaths that offer circular walks from the village up and around the surrounding countryside. Check out the interactive map at the bottom of our public footpath page. The paths are marked with public footpath numbers.

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