Wales’ Wildernesses – the Cambrian Mountains’ 6 nature reserves
Did you know there are SIX nature reserves in the Cambrian Mountains? It’s a little surprise when you consider the Cambrian Mountains has been a refuge for wildlife for centuries.
The Cambrian Mountains are very much untouched and unexplored and remain mysterious to most of Britain. Today we are introducing you to its six nature reserves to give you an idea of what lies in this intriguing area.So here’s our guide to the nature reserves in the Cambrian Mountains…
1. Claerwen National Nature Reserve
This nature reserve is the largest expanse of ‘wilderness’ in Wales today. The acidic soil terrain with mineral mine ruins are home to many species; since records began in 1880 more than 180 species of birds have been recorded and polecats and stoats roam free too.
Accessed by the mountain road between Rhayader and Cwmystwyth
2. Nant Irfon National Nature Reserve
This nature reserve lies near the source of the River Irfon which leads to the River Wye. The area is covered in one of the highest areas of sessile oak woodland in Wales with sedimentary rock even dating back as far as 1.5 million years ago. The landscape gives a multicoloured illusion with areas of grassland a dense purple and stands of bracken on the deeper soils. If you’re lucky, you may even see some fritillary butterflies float by in the warmer months.
Accessed north-west of Abergwesyn
3. Allt Rhyd y Groes National Nature Reserve
Welsh for ‘wooded hillside’ this part of Camarthenshire has craggy heathland and tumbling streams which make the perfect habitat for some rare species. Among a range of flora and fauna the most spectacular has to be the bluebell meadows. The Devils’-bit scabious becomes alive with a rainbow of beautiful butterflies in the Spring.
Accessed west of Llyn Brianne in northern Camarthenshir
This area is distinctive for its three domes or raised bogs which rise above the level of the lake bed which is fed by the River Teifi. It also houses 170 species of birds including winter visiting Whooper swans in the upcoming months.This reserve is not only a Site of Special Scentific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation but also a wetland of international importance, who knew!
Accessed by boardwalk or via the Ystwyth Trail (linking Tregaron to Aberystwyth)
5. Coed Rheidol National Nature Reserve
Like Cors Caron, this nature reserve is also a SAC and a SSSI and blue bells dominate the woodland floor in the Spring, not to mention the distinctive yellow Welsh poppy peaking through too. The humidity is great for a variety of fungi to flourish in the Autumn months and visitors can also play otter-spotting amongst the woodland.
Accessed by the Devils Bridge in the Rheidol Woods
This nature reserve is most famous as the hideout of the famous highwayman Twm Sion Cati, otherwise known as the Welsh Robin Hood, but is also home to an abundance of birds including flycatchers, wood warblers, chiffchaffs, redstarts, kingfishers, dippers, red kites… to name a few!
Accessed on the southern part of the Cambrian region near Ystradffin, Rhandirmwyn
Go on, delve into the unknown and see what you can find…