A Rhyl community orchard development project has built a strong bridge of support for local wildlife at risk.

Volunteers supported by Nature for Health alongside Denbighshire Countryside Service staff have completed a new bridge at Brickfield Pond Nature Reserve to allow a much needed wildlife habitat to develop.

Work at the south west corner of the nature reserve has helped connect an old community orchard and pond to the main site.

Countryside staff and volunteers have cleared undergrowth, installed new fences and have emptied ditches on the site to create suitable habitats for water voles, an animal on the UK’s endangered list.

Now a completed timber bridge that uses no treated European Larch help take the pathway and visitors over the new water vole habitat which has also been boosted by the planting of marginal species specifically to enhance suitability for the small animal.

The bridge will connect a path into the area with a circular route around the pond and orchard which has seen the trees re-staked and pruned this summer to enhance their resilience and fruit production.

Countryside Ranger Vitor Evora explained: “The project has been a great success and has included so many different elements of countryside work. The ditches will once again fill with water when the seasons change and hopefully the habitat will continue developing in a positive way.

Support on site has also been included for other wildlife with the inclusion of bird and bat boxes and hedgehog boxes and bug hotels in the area.

Cllr Barry Mellor, Lead Member for Environment and Transport and Council Biodiversity Champion, said: “The volunteers and staff have made a real positive difference to this part of Brickfield Pond thanks to their dedicated work to improving biodiversity. I look forward to hearing how it can give water voles, an endangered species, that all important helping hand.”