A NATURE reserve in west Denbighshire has more than doubled in size.

Aberduna nature reserve, near Maeshafn, has been expanded to 20 acres following the closure of the Aberduna Quarry in 2012.

The extension, which is part of an agreement with Hanson PLC, means that woodland and meadows surrounding the old quarry have been transferred to the North Wales Wildlife Trust who owns the nature reserve for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of local people.

To celebrate this and strengthen community connections, North Wales Wildlife Trust is welcoming residents from neighbouring towns and villages to come and ‘Discover Aberduna’ on Saturday, February 9 from 10am to 3pm.

Activities include practical Mindfulness sessions, where people can connect with the natural world and improve their well-being, to planting the first trees in the new Maeshafn community orchard and sampling some freshly pressed apple juice. There will also be all day activities where visitors can try their hand at green wood working skills, woodland crafts or coppicing old hazel stands.

Community and education officer Iwan Edwards said: “Aberduna Nature Reserve has a lot going for it. The site has fantastic views of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and has a wonderful mix of limestone grassland and ancient woodland that grow out of the cliffs and limestone pavement, supporting no less than 28 different species of butterflies.

“Since we started managing part of the site in 1993, we’ve had a dream of re-locating our office here and welcoming the local community to start seeing this nature reserve as their own. This event marks the beginning of a new life for us, the reserve and its wonderful wildlife and hopefully the communities in and around Maeshafn and Llanferres”.

On the day there will be a range of activities for people to get involved, including guided walks looking at the geological history of the site dating back 3.5 million years to the 20th century and its industrial history and a look at the way nature has reclaimed vast tracts of this once barren landscape. Visitors will be kept warm with food and drink around a campfire in the woods and kids can help to prepare their meal in the great outdoors.

Mr Edwards added “This event is open to everyone, in the morning, you can either come down to village to help plant the new community orchard or you can get involved in a practical ‘Mindfulness’ session between 10:30am and noon in the woods. Other sessions like the woodland skills and crafts will run throughout the day and the guided walk will be from 1 to 14:30pm.

"There’s an opportunity to speak to staff and volunteers and learn about how we plan to manage the reserve going forward and you can practice your winter tree identification to help you get the best from Aberduna in the winter looking forward to the summer and a wide range of events and activities taking place throughout 2019. So get your boots, wrap up warm and leave your worries behind as you re-connect with nature."

Car parking will be at the former Quarry Car Park, Maeshafn Road (½ mile from Gwernymynydd – SJ 205616) or if you live locally, you can catch one of the free minibus services starting from 10am. These will be advertised in local bus stops or on www.northwaleswildlifetrust.org.uk/events.