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Essential Website Maintenance – Thursday 9th January 2020

We will be carrying out essential website maintenance in the afternoon which will affect some functionality. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience the work may cause and will do all we can to keep disruption to an absolute minimum.

Morfa Conwy


Summary (optional)
Come and stroll around this wonderful section of coastline with beach, sand dunes, and views over to the Great Orme Country Park and Conwy Mountain.
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Why visit?

  • Wonderful views
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest
  • Chance to spot marine wildlife

Morfa Conwy is a peaceful, coastal site with wonderful views and gentle terrain. You’ll be able to see attractive flowers blooming in the summer and if you’re lucky, some marine wildlife too!

The site is partly designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), due to it being home to the rare belted beauty moth. The females are wingless!

The Aber Afon Conwy SSSI comes up to the base of the dunes.

One of the wonderful things about this site is that it’s always on the move. Sand dune systems are mobile, responding to the environmental conditions such as the weather. This process, called dune succession, means the appearance of the dunes here is constantly changing, providing a different place to walk and explore every time you visit.

What to expect

You can access the site from one of the two car parks, Beacons on the east side of the site and Oval to the west.

If you arrive at the east side, you have the option of walking along a section of the Wales Coast Path,  which can be uneven in places as it hugs the edge of a golf course. Or you can walk on the sand across the beach, which becomes shingly in places.

From the west side you can either follow a tarmac path behind the dunes (Sustrans Cycle Route 05), or you can cut through the dunes on uneven and often narrow sandy paths to reach the flatter beach. There are no gates or stiles when accessing  the beach.

Discover the wildlife

Common lizards bask in the midday sun on stones.  There’s plenty of rabbits amongst the edges of the golf course and coast path.

Morfa Conwy is an important habitat for the Colletes cunicularius or vernal bee, first recorded here in 2007. Numbers seem to be on the increase, with a couple of strong nesting sites in dune blow-outs. Females forage on willows around the caravan park and the car park at the Beacons. 

Facilities

  • Two free car parks (1.9m height restricted) (no toilet facilities)
  • Life ring near Beacons car park (east side)
  • Launching site for boats at Beacons car park

Dogs are welcome - please use the dog bins provided.

Please read the Countryside Code before visiting.

After storms, be careful around the front of the dunes -  you may see old glass bottles and broken glass exposed from when the site was used as a tip site.


How to get there

Walking & cycling

Morfa Conwy is a short walk from Conwy town centre. The closest entrance to town is the Beacons car park, and the postcode for this is LL32 8GJ.

Both car parks are easily accessible by bicycle, however there are more options for onward travel from the Oval car park (LL32 8GA) as it lies on National Cycle Route 5.

Public transport

The nearest bus stop is ‘Conwy Caravan Park’ close to the Oval car park. This is serviced by Arriva route 27, which travels through Old Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, Mochdre, Llandudno Junction, and Conwy.

Driving

Use postcode LL32 8GJ for Beacons car park or LL32 8GA for Oval car park. Exit the A55 at junction 17 and follow signs towards the marina, golf course and Beacons.

There are 1.9m height restrictions at both car parks.


What’s nearby?

For a longer walk, or to explore a different style of habitat, take a short walk to the nearby site of Bodlondeb.

You can extend this walk further to include Conwy Mountain.

How do we care for the site?

We check and maintain paths, fences and posts as part of safety audits.   

Sand dunes are a great natural sea defence. The dunes’ shape absorbs energy from storm waves. The native marram grass is exceptional at trapping sand particles and building the dunes back up after a storm. But because there is little space behind our dunes for them to grow, sometimes they need a little extra help. Where dunes are eroding because there isn’t much sand being deposited, we deliver extra sand to the site. We put up sand trap fencing that works like the marram grass to build up the dunes.

We also encourage marram grass to grow by removing harmful non-native species that outcompete the grass. These non-natives are taller and block the light for the grass below, but are much less effective at trapping sand.

We look at the balance between what the wildlife needs and public access and try to help to accommodate both.

Sand on the cycle track can be an issue, but the dunes are mobile habitat systems. Bare sand can blow onto the cycle path, but parts of it are nest sites for the vernal bee. Willow growing and encroaching on the cycle route can be an issue, but are essential to female vernal bees.

 

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