A 35-acre wetland in Prestatyn has been saved for community use for generations to come.

Denbighshire County Council secured Welsh Government funding for the £300,000 purchase of the site known as the Morfa in the centre of Prestatyn to protect its status as a natural wetland resource.

The land had previously been in private ownership.

Cllr Tony Thomas, Denbighshire’s Lead Member for Housing and Communities, said: “This is fantastic news for Prestatyn and Denbighshire as a whole. Local people and community groups have been hoping to secure this land for community use for more than 20 years.

“This once again shows the council’s commitment to the environment and this site will be sympathetically managed for the benefit of both the local community and resident wildlife and will be easily accessible from Prestatyn High Street.

“This wetland, together with the adjacent and existing Coed y Morfa Community Woodland, will create an impressive and varied green open space strategically located in the middle of a busy town.

“Coed y Morfa is an established and popular green open space managed by Denbighshire Countryside Service and these sites will provide a combined 60 acres of quality green open space in the heart of a busy town and with excellent active travel options. 

“This site will provide a green haven for residents and will also attract visitors to Denbighshire and help provide a boost to businesses in the town centre.”

Denbighshire County Council, using funds earmarked for open spaces from housing developments, together with a successful bid by Countryside Service to the Welsh Government under its Enabling Natural Resources and Wellbeing Grant, purchased the land.

The Council will set up a management advisory group for local people to have their say as to how the land should be managed.

Cllr Thomas added: “We will be looking to enhance this special habitat and we are confident the area can be enjoyed by local people and visitors without disturbing the resident wildlife.

“As part of our commitment to the environment in our current Corporate Plan, the Council has planted thousands of trees while significant work has been undertaken to reduce our carbon emissions.

“The council now only uses renewable electricity for its own buildings after switching to a renewable only energy provider for its schools, leisure centres, libraries, council offices and depots.

“Electric charging points have been installed for council vehicles at several council buildings while charging points for public use are being installed at the new car park being built on the former post office site in Rhyl. The council has recently undertaken a study to help identify potential locations for electric charging points for members of the public in existing car parks.

“The council has also secured Bee Friendly status from the Welsh Government for its work to protect pollinators and to increase biodiversity in the county.”

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “This is excellent news. Wetlands play a crucial role in supporting a wide range of wildlife and contributing to the resilience of our precious ecosystems. They are also extremely effective at storing carbon which helps to combat the climate emergency we all face.

“The Welsh Government has made responding to the nature crisis a top priority. In our recent draft budget we announced an extra £35m to drive a series of major new initiatives and it is great to see Denbighshire Council shares our commitment

to protect and restore our natural environment. 

“This green space will contribute to nature recovery and the creation of a resilient ecological network through Prestatyn, connecting people to nature, and providing years of enjoyment for current and future generations.”