There are a number of walks around the park, which will take you around the park’s various habitats. The habitats within the park include improved grassland, hedgerows, wooded areas, riverbank and the various park buildings.
Our recently created wild zones are areas with a good potential for biodiversity. As you walk around the park, you may notice a variety of bird boxes to encourage our feathered friends to nest here. By revising the way we manage our grass cutting regime, we are hoping to encourage wild flower and grass species. All of this will in turn attract a huge variety of invertebrates and then birds, reptiles and mammal species.
Originally built in 1923, the design of the sunken garden was heavily influenced by the ‘Italian’ style gardens with an artistic twist. The planting was characterised by formal topiary features smoothed over by herbaceous planting and with benches dotted around in the recesses.
Today, it features a coal dram (formerly used in collieries) and commemorates the funds raised by miners for the park’s creation. The small raised bed at its centre is planted with seasonal bedding giving a brilliant display of colour throughout the summer months. Low ground cover plants envelope the sloping sides and benches are placed strategically in the recesses. This sunken garden has changed very little since the 1930s but still forms an interesting feature within the park.
What is most amazing about Ynysangharad War Memorial Park is the greatness of its avenue trees which welcome you and draw you into the park. The Turkey Oaks (Quercus cerris), Horse Chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum) and London Planes (Platanus x hispanica) are magnificent specimens which have been growing in this park for a long time.
In addition, there is a variety of deciduous to evergreen trees which can be found here ranging from the majestic Holm Oak (Quercus ilex) to the graceful Weeping Willows (Salix sp.) via the architectural Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani).
This is a great place to come and admire those gentle giants.
Another characteristic of the park is the several hedgerows which are located around the cricket grounds and the Bowling Green area. As well as reducing noise, these provide great habitat for birds to forage and hide away from predators. When visiting those areas you will see Box (Buxus sp.) and Cherry Laurel (Prunus lauroceracus) hedgerows.
In the spring you will notice the beautiful and brightly coloured flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), Broom (Cytisus sp.) as well the subtle purple flowers of Periwinkle (Vinca major) or the bright yellow flowers of Mahonia aquifolium.
In the summer, Rhododendron, roses, hebes and Spiraea also provide colour but most importantly food for the variety of insects to be found here (e.g., bumblebees, honey bees, hover flies etc.)
Our park has several seasonal flower beds displaying summer and spring bedding and several mixed herbaceous borders. All are located within key areas to enhance some of our most beautiful historical features. They also provide an important food source for a range of insects such as butterflies, bees and bumblebees which we are trying to encourage within our park.
As you take a walk around the park you may come across areas of grass which have been left uncut. This is to encourage a greater diversity in terms of wild flowers and grasses which in turn will attract a wider range of invertebrates such as butterflies, bumblebees, hoverflies and bees.
You may even take note of unusual flora such as Toothwort (Lathraea squamaria), Snake’s Head (Fritillaria meleagris) or in early spring, the gorgeous yellow of Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria).
These wild zones play an important part in helping us provide a habitat and a food source for our wildlife and, through natural regeneration, we hope to witness some of the original species of flowers & grasses which would have been present in the fields at the time of Ynysangharad Farm.
Animals, insects and birds
Although Ynysangharad War Memorial Park is relatively new in comparison to some of the other neighbouring Victorian parks, it is already the home of a variety of birds, invertebrates and small mammals.
It is not unusual to notice mistle thrushes, black birds and even little wrens popping in and out from the hedgerows or shrubs nearby. You may even hear the call of collared doves, robins and chaffinches as you relax quietly in the sunken garden.
As you walk alongside the river, you will probably catch sight of a few ducks: Mallards are quite common here.
In the spring and summer, you can admire amongst our seasonal flowers a variety of bees and bumblebees as well as butterflies such as the Orange Tip, the Speckled Wood or even the Holly Blue. Why not take a look around with the children and see if you can spot them?