New nature reserve will be the largest

Posted on: Monday 4 December 2023
Blaensychan Nature Reserve new

A former colliery site in Abersychan is on course to become Torfaen's eighth and largest Local Nature Reserve.

Blaenserchan Colliery closed in 1985 and since then the remnants of coal spoil heaps have been transformed into stretches of grassland and heathlands.

Several notable plant species have been recorded at the site, including the Bee Orchid, Pyramidal Orchid, Green-winged Orchid, Knotted Pearlwort, Rough Clover, Small Cudweed, and Moonwort. It is also home to 30 different types of butterfly.

The process to designate the 86-hectare site as a Local Nature Reserve is under way and should be completed by spring next year.

It will mean the area, which includes a memorial to 176 men and boys killed in the 1890 Llanerch pit disaster, will be a protected green space offering the opportunity for local education, community engagement and volunteering.

It will also help to play a vital role in combating climate change by preserving and enhancing biodiversity, including plants and trees which remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Vegetation can also help reduce the risk of flooding - an effect of climate change - by absorbing and dispersing water. 

Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for the Environment, said: “It's Wales Climate Week which is a great opportunity to take stock of what we're doing as a borough to help tackle climate change. 

"Creating this new Local Nature Reserve is just one of the ways we are addressing the climate and nature emergency for the benefit of our communities now and in the future."

There are currently seven Local Nature Reserves in Torfaen at Garn Lakes, which is currently the largest at nearly 53 hectares; Cwmavon Corridor (the cycleway linking Garndiffaith and Blaenavon), Tirpentwys, Cwmynyscoy Quarry, Springvale Ponds, Henllys and Llwyncelyn.

 Find out how Torfaen Council is addressing the climate and nature emergency.


Last Modified: 04/12/2023 Back to top