Juniper Project

Juniper is a very slow-growing evergreen shrub that can grow up to 10m in the right conditions. Its berries are produced all year round and the seeds can take up to two years to germinate. In Denbighshire juniper is known from only one location at Prestatyn Hillside. It is a Local Biodiversity Action Plan priority species in Denbighshire, as well as a priority species for the UK.

HistoryBerries of the juniper plant are traditionally used to flavour gin

Historically common in the UK, the berries of this plant were very often used to flavour gin. Since the 1970s this species of shrub has seen a dramatic decline of 70%. It is thought that excessive grazing combined with loss of grazing in other areas has lead to the juniper’s downfall.

A mature juniper plant at Prestatyn Hillside (Sarah Bird)Project

The juniper plants at Prestatyn Hillside were found to be very old and no longer reproducing, so without intervention the plants would eventually be lost. In 2008, in partnership with Chester Zoo, young juniper plants were planted at Prestatyn Hillside which had been grown from cuttings taken from existing plants on the site. These slow-growing plants are monitored and surrounding scrub vegetation is managed by Denbighshire Countryside Service in the hope of developing a healthy population of juniper.











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