the dingle nature reserve

The Dingle Nature Reserve

On the hunt for the elusive red squirrel at The Dingle.

If you’re looking for a peaceful escape, a place to reconnect with nature, or just some adventure, then The Dingle Nature Reserve is definitely worth a visit. It’s known locally as Nant y Pandy (Fulling Mill Brook), but after or during heavy rainfall, Nant y Dilyw (Valley of the Deluge).

This picturesque spot, located in the heart of the market town of Llangefni, is set in a 17.5 hectare (40 acre) peaceful wooded valley, surrounded by the calming sounds of the River Cefni.

This unique reserve is home to an array of wildlife, including the iconic and rare red squirrels.

In this article, we explore The Dingle and its exceptional residents. We’ll discuss the beauty of the reserve, why it’s essential to protect the red squirrels, give tips on how to spot them, and identify other wildlife to look out for. Get ready to be intrigued by these fascinating creatures and inspired to plan your next visit to Anglesey!

The importance of preserving red squirrels
Red Squirrel at The Dingle Nature Reserve

The red squirrel is an important part of the ecosystem in the Dingle. They are seed distributors, helping to replenish the forest and maintain biodiversity. Red squirrels are a vital part of the food chain, serving as food for birds of prey and mammals such as weasels and foxes.

Unfortunately, the red squirrel population has been declining in recent years due to habitat loss and the introduction of non-native grey squirrels. It’s important to preserve the red squirrels’ habitat to prevent their extinction and maintain a healthy ecosystem in the reserve.

With this in mind, visiting the Dingle to see the red squirrels is not only an enjoyable experience, but also a way to support conservation efforts. By visiting, you are supporting the preservation of the reserve and its resident wildlife.

The Dingle has an extensive wooden boardwalk that winds its way along the River Cefni, which allows access to many parts of the reserve, including three new bridges, sculptures, sculpted benches and picnic tables.

As you meander round, you’ll spot some wood figures dotted around the place, some fairly hidden.

The sculptures include a huge dragonfly (pictured, although it took a bit of research to figure what exactly we were looking at), giant seed pods and split oak timbers revealing the poem Nant y Pandy, by local poet Rolant o Fôn.

Dragonfly sculpture at The Dingle Nature Reserve
Tips for observing red squirrels

These small yet agile creatures can easily go unnoticed if you don’t know where to look or what to listen for. With this in mind, here are some tips for observing red squirrels in the wild:

1. Be mindful of the time of day. Red squirrels are most active during the early morning and late afternoon. Consider spending some extra time at the reserve during these times to increase your chances of spotting them.

2. Use your ears. Red squirrels are known for their vocalizations, which can range from barks and chatters to purrs and trills. Listen for these sounds and follow them to their source.

3. Look up. Red squirrels spend most of their time in the trees, so keep your eyes focused on the branches above you. Pay attention to any movement or rustling in the leaves.

4. Be patient. Observing wildlife in their natural habitat requires patience and persistence. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t spot any red squirrels right away. Keep looking and listening, and you may be rewarded with a glimpse of these elusive creatures.

walking in the dingle, looking for red squirrels
Taking a stroll with the dogs, on the lookout for red squirrels

By following these tips, you’ll be better equipped to observe red squirrels in the wild at the Dingle.

Other wildlife to look out for at The Dingle

While the red squirrel is the star attraction at the Dingle, there are many other creatures to admire while you visit. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of the shy badger, which is nocturnal and often difficult to spot. Another elusive resident of the reserve is the fox, which is known for its cunning and stealth.

It’s also a haven for birdwatchers. Keep your eyes peeled for the agile sparrowhawk or the majestic buzzard soaring overhead, or listen out for the distinctive call of the Tawny owl. You may spot the colourful kingfisher darting by the water’s edge. The reserve is also home to a variety of waterfowl, including the tufted duck, mallard, and moorhen.


There’s a circular trail of approx. 1.5 miles and at a leisurely pace will take about an hour to complete. It starts and finishes at the car park next to Llangefni St Cyngars Church. There are signposts and information boards along the route. For the occasional rest you could use one of the sculpted benches or picnic tables. 

When to visit

You can visit The Dingle any time of the year. If the weather isn’t great for visiting coastal areas, the Dingle offers a pleasant walk and is much more sheltered. We visited on a crisp February day and it was stunning. We plan to visit again in the summer, when the landscape will look totally different.

In Spring, the forest floor is carpeted in bluebells. Summer sees dappled sunlight shimmer through the gorgeous sessile oak, ash and wild cherry trees.

The ancient woodlands, winding river and well-maintained paths make this a fantastic outdoor area, whether alone, with the family or walking the dogs. It’s close to Llangefni with all the local facilities you may need but feels a world away. While in the area, why not check out Oriel Môn, a fabulous art gallery and museum.

On our visit, we were fortunate to briefly see a red squirrel, and after Louis did a bit of hiking, he was lucky to grab some shots of these elusive creatures. Check out our gallery below for a few snaps of our visit.

Further information including directions and car parking can be found here.

So pack your binoculars, grab your camera, and head out to the reserve. Who knows what wonders you’ll discover!


Getting there: From A55 take the exit for Llangefni taking the A5114 into the town centre and follow the brown tourist signs.

Address: The Dingle Local Nature Reserve, Llangefni LL77 7QD.

There are two car parks, which are signposted. Parking is pay & display.

Have you visited The Dingle before?

Let us know what you spotted!

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