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Minera Quarry Nature Reserve - North Wales Wildlife Trust Reserve, Near Wrexham, North Wales

Hardy Orchid Society members at Minera Quarry

Above: Hardy Orchid Society members visiting Minera Quarry

This is the best publicly-accessible site for Frog Orchids Dactylorhiza viridis in Wales; however, in 2016 at the time of printing Sue Parker's book Wild Orchids of Wales, how, when and where to find them, negotiations between the quarry former owner and North Wales Wildlife Trust (NWWT) were ongoing (now completed). An addendum to the book is available as a free PDF download here...

Minera Quarry nature reserve is managed by North Wales Wildlife Trust (NWWT).

Directions

Grid Ref: SJ258519

Maes-y-Ffynnon Rd, Gwynfryn, Minera, Wrexham LL11 3DE

Minera Quarry is only 1.5 miles from the centre of Minera. Head west through the village; Maes-Y-Fynnon Road, a left turn off Church Road, leads directly to the nature reserve, which has its own parking.

Chalk Fragrant-orchids at Minera Quarry

Above: Chalk Fragrant-orchids Gymnadenia conopsea at Minera Quarry

Access and facilities

There are good tracks throughout the reserve, but some are steep and gravelly. There is disabled parking (accessed by a RADAR key) leading to a wheelchair- and pushchair-accessible path. There are no public toilets at this reserve.

Walks

Before NWWT took it over, the site was already well known for its Frog Orchids despite having no official public access.  This former quarry has steep paths and drop-offs, but there are large and easy-going open areas where orchids are numerous and increasing due to good management by the Wildlife Trust. From mid June, Common Spotted-orchids and Fragrant-orchids carpet the ground, and in 2019 the scarce intergeneric hybrid (picture courtesy of Elaine Hagget) between these species was discovered.

Wild Orchids at Minera Quarry

Species known to occur at this site include:

...plus some Dactylorhiza hybrids.

Hybrid between a Fragrant-orchid and Common Spotted-orchid

Above, a hybrid between a Fragrant-orchid and a Common Spotted-orchid at Minera Quarry
(Picture courtesy of Elaine Hagget)

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