New animal puzzle trail opens

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20 MAY 2011NEWS RELEASE No: 14637

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A new animal puzzle trail in the Snowdonia National Park will be officially opened this week (Thursday, May 26).

The trail was designed and created by Forestry Commission Wales Education Officer Nicola Maysmor in the Welsh Government-owned Pont y Pair woodland in Betws-y-Coed.

The puzzle trail is about 600 metres long and follows the route of the existing all-ability trail which is maintained by the Betws-y-Coed community group.

The group is heavily involved in its local woodland and obtained Objective One funding to build and look after the all-ability trail, which is very popular with families visiting the area.

Children from three local schools – Ysgol Ysbyty Ifan, Ysgol Pentrefoelas and special needs school Ysgol Gogarth – will attend the launch of the trail along with members of the community group and Sara, FC Wales’s giant red squirrel.

The woodland was chosen to host the puzzle trail because of the diversity of wildlife to be seen there, such as squirrels, foxes, otters and butterflies.

Trial leaflets provide a map of the site and clues to help locate wooden models of 12 animals hidden in the trees and foliage.

Nicola said, “The animal puzzle trail will add an element of interest for visitors to the woodland and educate them about the variety of wildlife that lives within it.

“It’s a great example of how communities can get involved in their local woodland and attract more visitors to the area, which can benefit the local economy.”

Visits to the trail can be supported by a FC Wales Education Officer or be self-led. Leaflets will be sent out to every school in Conwy and can also be obtained from Cunningham's outdoor shop and the Betws-y-Coed tourist information centre.

The original launch date for the trail had to be postponed after eight of the animal models were stolen within a week of them being placed along the trail.

Notes to Editors

A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.

Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.

The Woodlands for Learning team delivers woodland based learning experiences throughout Wales, supports the development and delivery of Forest School and facilitates the Forest Education Initiative on behalf of its partners.

For more information on woodland learning in the Conwy area contact Nicola Maysmor on 0300 068 0300 or

More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on

Press office contact: Clive Davies on 0300 068 0061, mobile 07788 190922, email