Belgrano Nature Reserve Rhos Fawr, Towyn, LL22 9YH (By Appointment)
Belgrano Nature Reserve Rhos Fawr, Towyn, LL22 9YH
Grid Reference: SH 957 785
No toilet facilities available
Visit By appointment only
Belgrano is a small closed nature reserve located on the outskirts of Abergele. It consists of a strip of meadow grassland adjacent to a flood management drainage ditch which is connected to nearby marshland. It was acquired by Wild Ground in connection with water voles
The reserve provides a corridor and habitat for water voles and other small mammal species such as field and bank vole, as well as for ground feeding and nesting birds, amphibians and invertebrates
- Mammals: otters, water vole, field vole and bank vole
- Birds: sky lark, linnet, grey heron, snipe, lapwing, wren, starling, song thrush
- Invertebrates: common damselfly, cinnabar moth, and common and holly blue butterflies
- Amphibians: smooth newt, common lizard
The water vole is one of the UK’s most threatened native mammal species. It was once widespread throughout the country, but a combination of habitat loss and degradation and predation by American mink saw its numbers fall by a staggering 90% between 1989 and 1998! They are sometimes mistaken for brown rats, but have a much rounder muzzle, smaller ears, and a shorter, fur-covered tail. Wild Ground participates in a partnership programme that monitors the local area for the presence of American mink.
The site is managed for the benefit of water vole, birds, and other species already present on site, with the habitat maintained predominantly as rough grassland, providing cover for a range of wildlife.
The Belgrano Nature Reserve is maintained as an access strip for watercourse management, and a buffer zone between the Abergele Marshes and the Rhos Fawr development. It provides a temporary refuge for the Water Vole population in times of ditch management, and provides habitat for other small mammals.