Woodland Walk in Menai Bridge
Coed Cyrnol is a delightful walk through a small woodland Local Nature reserve located on the banks of the Menai Straits between Thomas Telford’s Suspension Bridge and St Tysilo’s Church Island.
Coed Cyrnol and this entire stretch of the Menai Straits is a Marine Conservation Area, which means that in addition to its Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is a fascinating place to vist and observe Nature at work from close at hand.
The tidal flow rips through this constriction in the Menai Straits channel every 26 hours or so causing the displacment hither and thither of massive quantities of suspended organic material.
(Check out the Google map at the bottom of this page for specific directions.)
Stand by the War Memorial on Church Island to view the beautiful lush woodlands cascading down to the Straits between the Suspension Bridge and Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge .
It’s easy to access and leads you down excellent paths to a beautiful view of the Menai Straits.
Driving: You will find a car park just down from the recently new Waitrose supermarket off the bridge. Find the Chinese restaurant on your left. Turn in here to park behind the Menai Cottage chalet.
WHAT IS A LOCAL NATURE RESERVE?
Every local authority is required to generate a Local Diversity Action Plan and the creation of a Local Nature Reserve accommodates some of the targets attached to the Plan.
In this case, this Nature Reserve is an area of mixed deciduous, broadleaved and coniferous woodland. Both sets of arborial species encourage rich bird and animal life.
Stepping down to the muddy shoreline around Church Island you will encounter shelduck, redshank, dunlin and oystercatcher very often. On the other side of the Menai Straits you will generally be able to spot the odd swan or two.
Nature Reserves like Coed Cyrnol and the Dingle in Llangefni are very popular educational opportunities for the schools on Anglesey.
ANGLESEY RED SQUIRRELS
Red Squirrels have been spotted at Coed Cyrnol Local Nature reserve.
Just down the coast at Glyn Garth and Llandegfan, with their broad leaved woodland have also been recent haunts of these little critters.
According to the Friends of the Anglesey Red Squirrels, it is highly likely that these individuals (possibly engaging little families by now) are the result of an experimental squirrel release in 2007.
For more on the Anglesey Red Squirrels Project Please Click Here ....
As with squirrels and other animals, it is all a matter of patience and stillness.
Take your time to stop and listen to all that will rustle in the undergrowth.
If you rush then you will miss all of this and maybe not hear what waits for you below this little woodland on the shoreline.
BELGIAN PROMENADE & CHURCH ISLAND
The wide promenade above and below extends from the town, along below Thomas Telford´s Suspenion Bridge and into the mudflat lagoon area that extends around Church Island.
The walkway, or Belgian Promenade was built during the First World War (1914 – 1918) by Flemish/Belgian refugees who had escaped the horrors of warfare to reach Menai Bridge.
It must be remembered that Belgium is a country deeply scarred by extended European conflict - at least from the Napoleonic Wars, through the First and then the Second World Wars.
I say this without humour and ridicule, but Belgium is regarded as being the most boring country in Europe.
Dull beyond endurance, according to some descriptions.
It is little wonder that this politically and culturally confused little country is boring considering that it has been blasted every which way there and back so many times.
Maybe, it is just a sad little country, not boring.
Nonetheless, on any sunny evening it is a very pleasant walk along the Belgian Promenade and around Church Island along what I call the MENAI BRIDGE EVENING BEAUTY walk.
THE CHURCH OF ST TYSILIO
There is a litte sign above the church door of St Tysilio which indicates that it was built by the saint in AD 630. This may or may not be true.
Saint Tysilio was, apparently, a Welsh bishop. Because of conflict and the need of his own political and royal family sought to compromise his spiritual ways by tempting him, into marriage and a crown, Tysilio set sail for Brittany to arrive at Saint-Suliac.
Here Tysilio once again set up a church and it is here at Saint-Suliac that he was buried at his death in AD 640.
Most churches built during this early Christian era were, on the whole, inspired by the visit of someone who became a saint – smart business brain having a patron saint – with attached Divine Well for on-going miracles to bring in the punters.
Nonetheless, this church, with various refurbishments and embellishments does fall into the same chronology as the other Island churches. It is highly likely that part of this ancient church was originally built in the 13th and 14th Century.
Like another of Anglesey´s church islands – St Cwyfan at Aberffraw for instance, the purpose of having a church on an island is vague; other than, possibly, a novel means to test and condition by trial those they wished to be among the faithful.
PANORAMA WITHOUT THE DRAMA
Stood aloof of the travails of life atop the War Memorial Celtic Cross of Church Island, one may gaze about in an uninterrupted circuit.
Before you is Coed Cyrnol, Local Nature Reserve;
Scan right to the Thomas Telford Menai Suspension Bridge;
Scan further and you come around to see Ynys Gorad Goch - the old fishtrap and smokery in the middle of the Menai Straits;
Behind the fishtrap lies Robert Stephenson’s Britannia Bridge.
A single path joins all items together in a pleasant little walk. CLICK HERE for more information.
View Coed Cyrnol Local Nature Reserve in a larger map
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