Description: A restored opencast site consisting of grassland, woodland, wetlands, including lakes with bird hides.
Parc Slip Nature Park lies in a valley bottom on the watershed between the Ogmore and Afon Kenfig catchments, and has had a history of mining from the nineteenth century to the present day.
Restoration of the landform from colliery coal tips and opencast mining had been completed by the mid 1980s, and a five-year plan was undertaken to enhance natural succession and recreate semi-natural habitats, such as wildflower meadows, ponds, reedbeds, a wader scrape, and broadleaved woodland.
The Park is made up of broadleaved and coniferous plantations, improved grassland, and four flower rich fields, which are being managed as pasture.
These grassland areas provide feeding and roosting habitat for Snipe in winter, and nesting sites for Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, and Skylark in summer.
There are four bird hides, overlooking three wetland sites, a wader scrape, a small lake with an island, and Park Pond. A further three wetlands and open water areas add further interest.
The wader scrapes which were added in 2013 have attracted a wide range of wildlife which can be observed from the Mary Gillham raised hide.
Mute Swan, Mallard and Tufted Duck breed within the Park, and Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall, Pochard, Red-breasted Merganser and Water Rail are seen in winter. Twenty species of dragonfly have been recorded, including the Emperor (6-8), Four Spot Chaser (5-8), and the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (6-8).
The site supports seven species of orchid, including Bee (6-7), Common Spotted (6-8), Southern Marsh (5-6), Twayblade (5-8) and Broad-leaved Helleborine (7-9).
This beautiful video has been made of the site by Robin Davies-Rollinson.
Location and Access Notes
Grid References O.S. Explorer map 151 Cardiff and Bridgend. Main entrance: SS881841, Site centre: SS880840
Tenure Managed in collaboration with British Coal from 1989 onwards, the freehold was transferred to the Trust in November 1999 by the Coal Authority. The Trust purchased Park Pond in December 1977.
Size 124.9 ha (308.4 acres).
1 km west of Aberkenfig, adjacent to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales headquarters building. Tourist sign posts indicate the route from junction 36 of the M4, car park off Fountain Road. Access for wheelchairs. The site is on the route number 4 of the National Cycle Network. There is also a cafe at our visitor centre on site.
Bus number 63 from Bridgend bus station stops outside the Fountain Inn at the bottom of Fountain Road, and there is a train station at Tondu.