Penmaenpool signal box to become nature observatory

The signal box at Penmaenpool
Image caption Volunteers are needed for the signal box observatory

An old railway signal box in Gwynedd is being transformed into a nature observatory and information centre.

The Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA), which owns the box at Penmaenpool, hopes it will attract tourists and local people.

The railway line which once ran from Barmouth to Ruabon in Wrexham closed in 1965 but the signal box remains.

It sits in the Mawddach Valley, where many species of birds and wildlife can be seen.

The conservation area is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), where otters, warblers, snipe, geese, curlew and water rail can be seen.

The SNPA hopes to recruit a team of volunteers for the signal box.

Rhys Gwynn, park warden, said: "There are great opportunities here for bird watching and wildlife and the observatory is ideal for appreciating the wealth of wildlife in the area.

"Over the next few weeks, my hope is to establish teams of two to volunteer their time here to provide opportunities and share information about the area with other people, whether local people or visitors."

The signal box, built at the end of the 19th Century, was sold to the park authority and has been empty for years.

The old railway line now forms part of the Mawddach Trail, a nine-mile (14km) path for pedestrians and cyclists between Barmouth and Dolgellau.

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