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Twelve places to visit year round for wildlife in Mid Wales

 

January - Gigrin Farm Red Kite Feeding Centre

February - Llanbwchllyn Lake for wintering wildfowl

March - The Elan Valley for birds of prey and spectacular scenery

April - Carngafallt Nature Reserve for springtime birdsong

May - Nant Irfon and Vicarage Meadows for bluebells

June - Tylcau Hill (Flossie Brand) Nature Reserve for butterflies

July - Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve for nesting Ospreys

August - Cnwch Bank, Beacon Hill for blooming heather moorland

September - Gwenffrwd-Dinas for wild riverside walks

October - Radnor Forest for autumn colours and fungi

November - Gilfach Nature Reserve for leaping salmon

December – Cors-y-Llyn a magical place for mosses and lichens

See below for details

 

Gigrin Farm Red Kite Feeding Centre

Managed by Chris Powell and family

Wild red kites are fed every day of the year at Gigrin Farm, a 200 acre family-run working farm, With breath-taking feats of aerial piracy red kites compete with buzzards and ravens for choice pickings - a truly amazing spectacle. Feeding takes place at 2pm GMT 

Accessed off the A470 just south of Rhayader, postcode LD6 5BL

More details: http://www.gigrin.co.uk

 

 

Llanbwchllyn Lake Nature Reserve

Managed by Radnorshire Wildlife Trust

This reserve is important for wintering ducks - mallard, teal, tufted duck, pochard and goldeneye. Mute swans are often found, as are cormorants while kingfisher and common sandpiper visit regularly.

Being one of the few places in Powys where you find dense stands of reedbed, Llanbwchllyn is home to sedge warbler, reed warbler and reed bunting in the summer. Great crested grebes successfully rear young on the lake and coot and water rail use the reeds as a refuge throughout the year.

Accessed off B4594 Erwood to Painscastle Road, grid reference SO 116 466

More details:  http://www.rwtwales.org

 


The Elan Valley

Managed by Welsh Water Dwr Cymru and the Elan Valley Trust

The Elan Valley is a great place to look for birds of prey amidst spectacular scenery.

Seventy square miles of moorland, bog, woodland, river and reservoir that are of national importance for their biodiversity.

An upland plateaux with gently rolling hills covered with acid grassland and blanket bog, important for upland breeding birds; semi-natural ancient woodlands important for mosses, liverworts, lichens, and ferns; species-rich hay meadows important for their variety of wild flowers including globe flower and butterfly and fragrant orchids.

Accessed off the B4518 from Rhayader, Grid Reference SN 928 646,

Postcode LD6 5HP

More details: http://www.elanvalley.org.uk

 


Carngafallt Nature Reserve

Managed by Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

An area of oak woodland with veteran trees that were growing here when Henry VIII was King! Carngafallt in spring is the place to see and hear migrant woodland birds - pied flycatchers, redstarts, wood warblers and tree pipits, when from mid-April through May the beautiful woodland foliage is background to a wonderful chorus of bird song. Above, the moorland landscape looks especially colourful in late summer when the heather is in bloom.

Accessed at east end of Elan Village off the B4518, three miles from Rhayader. Grid reference SN936652

More details: http://www.rspb.org.uk

Nant Irfon and Vicarage Meadows Nature Reserves

Managed by: Natural Resource Wales and Brecknock Wildlife Trust

The area around Nant Irfon is covered in one of the highest areas of sessile oak woodland in Wales with sedimentary rock dating back 1.5 million years.

Waymarked walking trails, starting from Pwll Bo car park, follow the River Irfon and pass through some of the woodland.

The wildflower rich Vicarage Meadows reserve is set on the side of a hill in the Irfon Valley and lies adjacent to the Nant Irfon National Nature Reserve and is a sheet of bluebells in the spring, followed by a carpet of orchids in the summer. In late summer, the dense mauve heads of devil's-bit scabious flowers provide a late season nectar source for many other butterflies and insects.


Accessed off the A483, three miles north west of Llanwrtyd Wells towards Abergwesyn. Pwll Bo car park is at OS grid reference is SN 851 509.

Vicarage Meadows accessed from where the road crosses the River Irfon at grid reference SN 850 526

More details: https://naturalresources.wales and http://brecknockwildlifetrust.org.uk

 

 

Tylcau Hill (Flossie Brand) Nature Reserve

Managed by Radnorshire wildlife Trust

Diverse flower-rich farmland, interspersed with scrub and woodland supporting small pearl bordered fritillary and green hairstreak butterflies. Carpets of mountain pansies, swathes of eyebright, wild thyme and bird's foot trefoil bloom on the higher slopes, humps of cushion moss and sphagnum fill wet hollows while in the wooded dingles are clumps of oak fern. Cuckoos call across the valley and brightly coloured, day-flying scarlet tiger moths dance over the wet pastures. Common lizards, frogs and toads also live on the reserve.

Accessed a few miles north east of Llanbister (on the A483), Grid reference

SO 137 762, postcode LD1 6UN

More details:  http://www.rwtwales.org

 


Ospreys nesting at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve

Managed by Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust

A Wetland wildlife haven, where Ospreys arrive in April to nest, departing in Cors Dyfi is a wonderful little nature reserve that is teaming with wildlife. Over the last few hundred years it has seen many changes, from estuarine salt marsh to reclaimed grazing, then to conifer plantation and more recently into a wildlife rich wetland reserve.

The reserve is a healthy mixture of bog, swamp, wet woodland and scrub supporting a plethora of animals and plants. Including the magnificent Osprey, which bred on the reserve for the first time in 2011. If you are lucky you may also spot an otter or dormouse.

Our new Dyfi Osprey Project website is packed with information on the ospreys and the nature reserve they call home: click here.

Best time to visit
The Ospreys are typically here from April to September. Spring and Summer are also the best times to see Common Lizards, Nightjars, Grasshopper, Reed & Sedge Warblers, Yellow Flag Iris and Four-spotted Chasers. The Trust’s Water Buffalo graze the reserve during the Summer. The winter brings a host of small birds to the feeders as well as Barnacle Geese and Hen Harriers to the wider reserve. During the winter you may even glimpse the elusive Bittern in the reed beds. Year round we regularly see Otters and Red Kites on the reserve.


September. Spring and Summer are also the best times to see Common Lizards, Nightjars, Grasshopper, Reed & Sedge Warblers, Yellow Flag Iris and Four-spotted Chaser dragonflies. The Trust’s Water Buffalo graze the reserve during the Summer. The winter brings a host of small birds to the feeders as well as Barnacle Geese and Hen Harriers to the wider reserve. During the winter you may even glimpse the elusive Bittern in the reed beds. Year round we regularly see Otters and Red Kites on the reserve.

Accessed just off the A487 between Machynlleth and Glandyfi. postcode SY20 8SR.

More details: http://www.dyfiospreyproject.com

 

 

Cnwch Bank, Beacon Hill

Managed by Radnorshire Wildlife Trust

Cnwch Bank is part of Beacon Hill, an area of upland dominated by large areas of heather, interspersed with areas of bracken and acid grassland and wet flushes where species such as Water Purslane, Sphagnum Moss, Lesser Twayblade and the insectivorous Lesser Bladderwort grow. Breeding birds of this high moorland include Meadow Pipit, Stonechat, Merlin, Red Grouse, Linnet, Peregrine and Raven. Best time to visit is August when the heather is in full bloom.

Accessed off minor road from Llangungllo, grid reference SO 192 748, postcode LD6 5LF

More details:  http://www.rwtwales.org

 

 

Gwenffrwd-Dinas Nature Reserve

Managed by Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Set in a steep-sided valley with enchanting alder and oak woodland and a fast-flowing, spectacular, boulder-strewn river, this reserve is set in a beautiful, remote part of mid Wales. Common sandpipers, dippers and grey wagtails can be seen along the rivers and in the summer there'll be pied flycatchers and redstarts in the woodland.
Accessed via Llandovery, Cilycwm and Rhandirmwyn on the road to Llynne Brianne

grid reference: SN788471 postcode: SA20 0PG

More details: http://www.rspb.org.uk

 

 

Radnor Forest – Warren Wood and Water Break its Neck falls

Managed by: Natural Resource Wales

Radnor Forest is a land of hill farming and great moorlands, steep narrow valleys and hills, rising up to the highest point in Radnorshire, Black Mixen at 650 metres (2150 feet). 

Warren Wood is a lovely place to enjoy Autumn colours and from the car park is a waymarked walk to the spectacular waterfall called Water Break-its-neck.

Accessed off the A44 between Kington and Llandrindod Wells, OS grid reference SO 187 598.

More details: https://naturalresources.wales

 

 

Gilfach Nature Reserve

Managed by Radnorshire wildlife Trust

Gilfach is special because of its wide variety of habitats: open moorland, flower-rich grassland, oak woodland and rocky upland river that support a tremendous abundance of animals and plants within a comparatively small area. This richness of wildlife has adapted to living in the various habitats created over the centuries through the practice of traditional hill farming.
Follow the walking trails through meadows peppered with anthills, look out over the valley with its glorious views and spot a dipper on the River Marteg as it tumbles down through the reserve and over the waterfalls - where in November you might just glimpse a leaping salmon.
Accessed off the A470, 3 miles north of Rhayader, postcode LD6 5LF

More details:  http://www.rwtwales.org

Cors-y-Llyn Nature Reserve

Managed by: Natural Resource Wales

This nature reserve, with its easy access and good paths, is truly a magical place to visit in spring, summer, autumn or winter. There are two main habitats: acid mire where 100 year old pines have been stunted to 5/6 feet in height by the high acidity in the bog and the ground is covered in brightly coloured mosses and lichens, and herb rich meadowland where more than 100 species of flowering plants have been recorded and in summer the air can be filled with damselflies, dragonflies and butterflies.

Accessed via a country lane off of the A470 just south of Newbridge-on-Wye, the entrance to the site is through a gated farm road. Grid reference SO 022 560, postcode LD2 3RU

More details: https://naturalresources.wales