The Dingle Nature Reserve (5 Delightful reasons to visit)
Updated: Aug 25
Nant y Pandy, otherwise known as The Dingle, is a gem of a nature reserve at Llangefni in the heart of Ynys Mon (Anglesey).
The Dingle Nature Reserve covers approximately 25 acres of a steep-sided wooded valley. Dissecting the area is the River Cefni, which alternately flows slowly and tumbles wildly through a rich and ancient woodland. The habitat attracts an abundance of wildlife, including otters, kingfishers and red squirrels.
The reserve has been made more accessible with community help and through grant aid, most notably with the laying of a boardwalk following the path of the river.
Here are my top 5 reasons to visit
Beautiful ancient woodland - This is a mixed deciduous woodland with Oak, Beech, Sycamore, Holly and Willow, all easy to spot and creating an airy canopy. Perfect cover on a hot hot summer's day for keeping your cool.
Bluebells - the valley side on the right of the pathway pictured above is clothed with bluebells (and wood anemones) in the spring. I love getting out and photographing bluebells - they're one of my favourite flowers - their colour and scent are amazing.
An easy and accessible walk to rack up your daily exercise. Great for your physical and mental health - peaceful and quiet for those mindfulness moments. The higher-level path is easier for wheelchairs and has some gentle slopes. Care is needed when walking on the boardwalk when the weather has been wet, as it can be slippy.
Wildlife - sit quietly for a moment or two, and you'll soon be surrounded by birds and other creatures going about their business. Robins, blue tits, great tits, blackbirds and wrens are all common, but there are rarer birds, such as treecreepers and the spectacular kingfisher. If you visit between 3 pm and 5 pm you may even see the red squirrels being fed.
Sculptures - there are a number of sculptures carved from wood throughout the reserve, most notably at the main entrance by St Giles church. There are even elaborate benches carved from trees where you can rest awhile and soak up the wonderful atmosphere.
I visited the Dingle Nature Reserve during the afternoon of 16th August 2023, parking at the church where a giant sculpture of a dragonfly greeted visitors. The boardwalk was a little great as it had rained heavily two days earlier. While the river was within its usual bounds, it was obvious the water level had been higher, showing the need for a boardwalk.
Along the walk, we spotted plenty of birds, with a robin perching so close I could have touched it. It was in no hurry to leave!
I was on a mission, however, and kept going until I spotted a couple of squirrel feeding boxes nailed to a tree. Within 10 minutes, two squirrels had been to see if there was any food. It was obviously close to feeding time.
Sure enough, a ranger arrived and placed hazelnuts and walnuts in the feeders and in various nooks and crannies of the trees. It wasn't long before the first squirrels arrived, giving the gathering visitors some great photographic opportunities.
If you are interested in seeing Red Squirrels, Anglesey is a great place to visit. Grey squirrels have been eradicated, and our native Red Squirrel has been given safe haven at various places throughout the island, including the Dingle Nature Reserve, Plas Newydd and Newborough Forest. Look out for the Red Squirrel Woodland signs for other safe habitats.