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North Wales is famous for its scenic walking routes and beautiful countryside, and you can explore all of this at its very best when you visit Pensychnant Conservation Centre and Nature Reserve on the Sychnant Pass in Conwy.
This is not just a great place to explore the countryside, but is also an area filled with glorious local wildlife which the Centre works hard to safeguard.
This is a hidden gem of the North Wales region, being based around the former home of the Stott family and covering 150 acres of land.
The original house built on the grounds was erected in 1690, but much of the architectural character of the estate stems from the Victorian era. It is beautiful relic of this time when the grounds were the home of the Stott family headed by Abraham Henthorn Stott who led one of the most prominent Victorian architectural firms. He was responsible for building a large number of the cotton mills in Oldham.
However, by 1937 the world had moved on and cotton was no longer the booming trade it had once been. This resulted in the Stott family being forced to give up their home; with Pensychnant and all of its grounds being sold.
The great grandson of Abraham Henthron Stott managed to buy the land back in 1967. In 1989, Brian Henthorn Stott set up the Pensychnant Foundation and it is for this that the centre is now most famous, with the aim of the foundation being to support local naturalists and wildlife, with countless conservation organisations counting on the support offered by the Centre.
The nature reserve is now open all year round and is firmly one of the best wildlife sites in North Wales.
There are countless rare and exotic wildlife in the region. Did you know that the Conwy Morfa region is home to a rare wingless Moth known as the Belted Beauty? These animals only exist in one of part of England as well as in the Hebrides. If you are a holiday home owner at Aberconwy Resort & Spa and happen to see some bright lights floating around the dunes late at night, then fear not because it is simply the team from Pensychnant looking to catch a glimpse of these rare creatures.
This is just one of the many animals who inhabit this nearby area, including the beautiful spotted Flycatcher whose numbers have declined by 77% over the past 25 years. The centre deserves praise for its efforts to help these rare creatures survive.
This isn’t just a great site for animal lovers, with Victorian woodlands on the estate where you can view relics of Welsh oakwoods which stood long before Conwy Castle was even constructed. The Stott family also planted many beautiful trees during the Victorian era, with Corsican pines, sycamore and much more which are still on the grounds of the estate.
Sychnant itself is classified as being a Regionally Important Geological Site (RIGS). This is awarded on account of the areas value to Earth science and heritage, with many of the stunning mountains around the Sychnant Pass a result of erosion caused by the melting of ice age waters. It is a wonderful geographic area where you can feel at one with nature and the history of the area.
You can take advantage of the guided walks which are on offer at Pensychnant to really gain an insight into the local wildlife and the environment.
While the nature reserve is open all year around, if you are looking to pay a visit to the house then you will need to go between the beginning of April and the end of September.
In the house you can take advantage of the Victorian Arts and Crafts exhibition where the work of some of North Wales best wildlife artists are put on display. Many of these works are available for sale so you have a great memory to take back with you to your holiday home or perhaps a gift for someone back home.