Archives

Coed Garnllwyd – Llancarfan

Coed Garnllwyd anemones
Coed Garnllwyd anemones

Coed Garnllwyd anemones

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 151 Cardiff & Bridgend. Main entrance point: ST057711, Site centre: ST058712

Status Part of the Nant Whitton Woods SSSI.

Coed Garnllwyd

Herb Paris at Coed Garnllwyd

Herb Paris at Coed Garnllwyd

Is managed under a 99 year lease.

Size 13 ha (32 acres).

A downloadable version of this leaflet is available

Location and Access Notes

0.7 km north-east of Llancarfan, approximately 5 km west of Barry. Access by public footpath either from the Llancarfan to Bonvilston road to the south of Garnllwyd House, or through the livery stables on the Walterston to Llancarfan road. Car parking is very limited, so we advise walking from Llancarfan village.

A public footpath and circular permissive paths run through the woodland, which can be steep and muddy.

Public transport

Some journeys of the V5 Cowbridge-Barry bus service call at Llancarfan.

Description: Ancient broadleaved woodland with some scrub and a meadow.

Coed Garnllwyd forms part of a woodland complex which occupies the southern and eastern sides of the small Nant Whitton and Nant Llancarfan valleys. The whole reserve is underlain with Lias limestone. A spring-line runs through the reserve producing wet flushes within the wood.

Early Purple Orchids at Coed Garnllwyd

Early Purple Orchids at Coed Garnllwyd

The woodland is mixed Ash, primarily Ash/Oak coppice with standards, with Hazel, Field Maple, Holly, Smooth-leaved Elm, Crab Apple (5), Hawthorn, Spindle, and Wayfaring-tree making a rich shrub layer. Clear felling in 1921 appears to have been the last major management undertaken, although some of the standard Oaks are larger and appear to pre-date this operation.

The woodland flora contains species typical of lime-rich ancient woodlands: Herb Paris (4-5), and Early Purple Orchid (4-5) occur, together with Bluebell (4-6), Wood Anemone (3-5) and Goldilocks Buttercup (4-6). Part of the meadow is species-rich with Common Spotted Orchids (6-8) and Devil’s-bit Scabious (8-9). The grassland and

Bramble scrub attract a range of invertebrates including Brown Argus (5-6 + 8-9) and Common Blue (5-9) butterflies, Speckled Bush Cricket (5-11), Wasp Beetle, a hoverfly Volucella inflata (5-10, peaking 6-7) and a soldier fly Stratiomys potamida. Amongst the varied birdlife are Buzzard, Tawny Owl, woodpeckers, Nuthatch and Treecreeper. Migrants include Garden Warbler in summer and Woodcock in winter. Dead timber within the woodland supports invertebrates and fungi including Scarlet Elfcups.

Coed Garnllwyd

Coed Llwyn Rhyddid – Hensol

Grey Heron by Harry Hog

IMPORTANT NOTICE  – The Nature Reserve is closed due to Ash Dieback!

Grid References Main entrance: ST041778, Car parking: ST043778

Tenure Freehold purchased February 1990.

Size 4.9 ha (12.1 acres).

A downloadable version of this leaflet is available

Location and Access Notes

One mile north of Hensol forest, to the west of the road to the Vale of Glamorgan Hotel & Golf Club. As Herons are easily disturbed, access into the wood is only available through organised group viewing days during the breeding season (mid January to August).

Grey Heron by Harry Hog

Grey Heron by Harry Hog

A stile in the south east corner of the wood is accessed through the gate on the right at the end of the farm track and nearest the farmhouse. Alternatively, a public footpath through Home Farm leads to a gate in the northern corner. Access is by permissive paths and includes small bridges and occasional stiles.

Public transport

The nearest bus stops are 1 mile away on routes to Peterston-super-Ely: in Hensol forest from Cowbridge and in Hensol from Pontyclun.

Description: A mixed secondary woodland supporting a large heronry.

Coed Llwyn Rhyddid is a mixed woodland partly planted some time in the last hundred and fifty years. The canopy is made up of Oak, Ash, Beech, and a mixture of conifers, principally Scots Pine, with an understorey of Holly, Hazel and Rhododendron. The woodland herb layer includes Wood Anemone (3-5) and Bluebell (4-6). The drainage ditches support Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage (4-7). Other plants include Crab Apple (5), Yellow Pimpernel (5-9), Wood Sedge (5-6) and Wood Sorrel (4-5).

The conservation interest of the wood is that in the 1990s it was the third largest heronry in Wales with around 35 pairs. In 2005, 28 pairs were recorded. Nesting Herons have been recorded in the Hensol area since at least 1872.

The Herons nesting at the top of Scots Pine trees can be viewed from the roadside parking near the farm entrance track.

The Herons generally return to the wood towards the end of January. The breeding cycle takes until July for the chicks to fledge, and late August for the Herons to leave the wood.

Coed-Llwyn-Rhyddid

Coed y Bedw – Pentyrch

Pied flycatcher by Margaret Holland

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 151 Cardiff & Bridgend. Site centre: ST111827

Tenure Leased from the Forestry Commission since 1968, and freehold purchased in 1984, with assistance from the Countryside Commission, Joseph Frazier Memorial Fund, Dr Mary Gillham, Glamorgan Watch, NHMF, NCC, Pentyrch Community Council, Welsh Water Authority, and WWF.

Ramsons in Coed y Bedw

Ramsons in Coed y Bedw

Size 16.6 ha (41 acres).

Location and Access Notes

3 km north-west of Cardiff. The reserve can be reached from the east via the Taff’s Well junction on the A470 Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil trunk road north of the M4. Take the Pentyrch Road over Ynys Bridge, and turn right to Heol Berri Green, Gwaelod-y-Garth. From the west via the Llantrisant road (A4119) and then minor roads to Pentyrch. Parking is limited. Footpaths can be muddy and there are some steps and stiles.

Public transport

Bus number 136 from Cardiff to Gwaelod-y-Garth.

A downloadable version of this leaflet is available.

Description: Ancient broadleaved woodland, which is located across the boundary between acidic and calcareous soils.

Coed-y-bedw consists of various woodland types. Much of the site occupies a steep north-facing slope following the Garth Hill Coal Measures and the Carboniferous limestone of the Little Garth. Wet Alder woodland in the wetter valley bottom grades through Oak/Birch mixed deciduous woodland to Beech woodland in the northern and western areas. Mixed Ash woodland is locally dominant on the limestone areas to the south.

Two lime-rich springs arise in the southwest of the site and join the acidic stream Nant Cwmllwydrew flowing eastward along the valley floor. This mixture of acidic and calcareous water in the drainage system supports an interesting assemblage of invertebrates, including the uncommon Giant Lacewing, whose larvae develop in the moss clad banks of the streams.

In the wet valley bottom stands of Giant Horsetail (4) are found. The shrub layer includes Alder Buckthorn, Guelder Rose (6-7) and Hazel, while the herb layer is divided between acid and lime-loving plants with Traveller’s Joy (7-9), Wild Garlic (4-6) and Spindle (6-7) on the southern calcareous soil, and Bluebell (4-6), Heath Bedstraw (7-8), and Lousewort (4-7) on the acidic soils.

There is a great diversity of resident woodland birds including Tawny Owl, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Treecreeper, which are augmented in summer by Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Willow Warbler and Blackcap.

The site has been modified by past mining activity, and evidence of this is still present, and responsible for much of the uneven topography. In the northwest of the reserve the shaft leading into the derelict Coed y Bedw colliery can be seen, abandoned in 1913, and nearby the ruins of an old cottage, once the home of Morgan Thomas, one time owner of the mine.

Coed y Bedw

Coed y Bedw

Coed y Bwl – Castle Upon Alun

Nuthatch seen at Llanerch Alder Carr by Steve Waterhouse

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 151 Cardiff and Bridgend. Main entrance: SS909749, Site centre: SS909751

Status The site is a notified SSSI.

Coed y Bwl wild daffodil woods, near St. Brides Major by Richard Marks

Coed y Bwl wild daffodil woods, near St. Brides Major by Richard Marks

Important Notice

We are sorry but at the present time we have decided to close this nature reserve to the public. This is due to the presence of Ash Dieback in the trees.

Our detailed assessment of the number and health of the ash trees (and the risk they pose to site users) determined that making enough trees safe would cause too much harm to the nature reserve, especially the species that depend on ash. It would also reduce our ability to learn about any resilience these local trees might have.

Therefore, with wildlife in mind, we have decided to leave the trees standing- but that means we reluctantly have to close public access here until further notice. This decision will be kept under review and this site updated if the situation changes.

For further information on Ash Dieback and the Trust’s policy on managing it, visit our Ash Dieback page.

Tenure The reserve was acquired by the Trust in December 1970 by leasehold for 21 years, and the lease was renewed in 1991, and again in 2012 for a further 21 years

Size 2.4 ha (5.9 acres).

A downloadable version of this leaflet is available

Location and Access Notes

1 km east of St. Bride’s Major, 3 km south of Bridgend. Minor roads leading north into the Alun Valley from the B426 between St. Bride’s Major and Wick, allow access to the reserve.

Inaccessible to wheelchairs, but the spring ground flora can easily be seen from the road, and parking is afforded in the lay-by opposite the bridge.

Public transport

Bus numbers 146 and 145 from Bridgend to St. Bride’s Major, from where it is a 1 km walk.

Description: Coed y Bwl is an ancient Ash woodland situated on the northwest side of the Alun Valley and overlies the Carboniferous limestone.

The wood was dominated by Elm at the southern end, grading into Ash and Sycamore towards the north, with an understorey of Field Maple. Since the decline of the Elm due to Dutch Elm disease the southern end of the reserve has been clear felled, and replanted with Ash, Common Lime and Wild Cherry.

BluebellThe reserve is best known as a Wild Daffodil (2-3) wood, with these flowers dominating the field layer on the southern part of the wood in early spring together with Wood Anemone (3-5), whilst on the northern slopes Bluebell (4-6) predominate.

The wood supports a range of woodland birds including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit and Great Tit, augmented in the summer months by Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaff. Birds of prey include Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. Tawny Owls are also resident.

Mammals include Badger, Fox, Stoat, Hedgehog, Long-tailed Field Mouse, Bank Vole, Grey Squirrel and Mole.

Coed y Bwl map

Cwm Colhuw – Llantwit Major

Yellowhammer in Gorse by Harry Hogg

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 151. Main entrance: SS960674

Cwm Colhuw by Vaughn Matthews

Cwm Colhuw by Vaughn Matthews

Status The site is partly designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument and lies within the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.

Tenure Held since February 1989 on a 99 year lease from the Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Size 11.5 ha (28.4 acres).

A downloadable version of this leaflet is available

Location and Access Notes

1 km southwest of Llantwit Major, situated on the southeast side of the beach road. Access on foot either from a stile at the head of the valley (SS968678) or by way of the steps from the eastern side of the beach car park. A public footpath runs the length of the reserve, and the Heritage Coast footpath crosses the site, on the cliff top. Not accessible to wheelchairs.

Public transport

Trains from Bridgend and bus services 142 from Bridgend, X44 and X2 from Cardiff to Llantwit Major, then walk towards the beach.

Description: Coastal calcareous grassland, Ash woodland and scrub.

Yellowhammer in Gorse by Harry Hogg

Yellowhammer in Gorse by Harry Hogg

The reserve is situated on the southern slope of the Afon Colhuw. A postcard of the Colhuw valley taken in the 1930s shows the reserve as open grazed pasture with isolated scrub. Grazing ceased during the Second World War, when the site was used for allotments in the “Dig for Victory” campaign, and then Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Gorse and Bramble colonised the majority of the slope with secondary Ash woodland taking over at the inland end.

The scrub and hedgerows provide nesting habitat for a number of birds such as Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Grasshopper Warbler, Linnet and Yellowhammer, and also summer migrants such as Willow Warbler and Whitethroat. Kestrel breed on the adjacent cliffs and use the grassland for hunting, and Peregrine is regularly seen.

Two calcareous grassland fields on the summit of the slope are dominated by Oat Grass and Yorkshire Fog, with clumps of Cocksfoot, Bird’s-foot Trefoil (6-9), Salad Burnet (5-8), Kidney Vetch (6-9), and Wild Thyme (5-7) in the shorter Rabbit grazed turf, on the ant hills, and archaeological remains. Nationally scarce Wild Cabbage grows near the cliff edge, in places sheltered from grazing. The grassland provides a habitat for butterflies such as Common Blue (4-9), Meadow Brown (6-9), Small Heath (5-9), Ringlet (6-7) and Small Blue (5-6 + 8).

The reserve contains part of the boundary bank and ditches of an Iron Age Promontory Fort. The majority of the Fort including the impressive ramparts, known locally as “Castle Ditches”, are just outside the reserve boundary to the east.


Cwm Colhuw

Lavernock Point – Penarth

Devil's bit scabious L Maiden

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 151. Main entrance: ST181681

Site centre: ST182682

Lavernock

Lavernock

Status Lavernock Point SSSI forms two thirds of the site.

Tenure Managed under licence since January 1966 and currently held under a 25 year lease from June 1999.

Size 8 ha (20 acres).

A downloadable version of this leaflet can be found here

Location and Access Notes

8 km south of Cardiff, and 6 km east of Barry. Access is from the B4267 via Fort Road, sign-posted Lavernock Point. Limited parking by the gate or in the public car park at the end of Fort Road.
Public footpaths and permissive paths within the reserve, including several stiles, but there is kissing gate access 100 yards beyond the gate. Some cliff-top paths susceptible to erosion.

Public Transport

Bus services 88 and 94 from Cardiff, Penarth and Barry.

Description: Lavernock is made up of a number of habitats, principally coastal Jurassic limestone grassland and scrub.

Devil's bit scabious L Maiden

Devil’s bit scabious L Maiden

The Oak Copse north of Fort Road is home to the elusive Purple Hairstreak butterfly. The Old Hayfield south of Fort Road was last cut for hay in 1984 and has been recolonised by meadow species. The North and South Meadows are separated by a belt of scrub containing a World War II Battery, now a listed Ancient Monument. Both meadows have been invaded by scrub over the years which in places has succeeded to Ash wood.

The meadow’s many flowers include Cowslip (4-5) and several orchids: Early Purple (4-6), Bee (6-7), Spotted (6-8) and Twayblade (5-8). Other plants prominent in their season are Common Centaury (6-10), Yellow-wort (8-9), Dyer’s Greenweed (7-9), Fleabane (8-9) and Devil’s-bit Scabious (6-10). In all some 170 species have been listed, including the scarce Adder’s Tongue Fern.

The butterflies and moths are mainly found in the meadow, although the Speckled Wood is found amongst trees. There are abundant whites, blues and browns including Ringlet (6-8), Meadow Brown (6-9) and Gatekeeper (7-8). Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Comma, Red Admiral and Painted Lady can be seen all summer. The commonest day-flying moth is the Six-spot Burnet and the commonest migrant the Silver Y.

Historically Lavernock has been an important site for the observation of bird migration. In autumn, large flocks of Swallow, Redwing, Fieldfare and finches can be seen. Breeding birds include Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Bullfinch and Chiffchaff. Sparrowhawk, Green Woodpecker and Long-tailed Tit can be seen throughout the year.

Lavernock Point

Parc Slip Nature Reserve – Bridgend

Bee orchid
Parc Slip meadows L Maiden

Parc Slip meadows L Maiden

 

Description: A restored opencast site consisting of grassland, woodland, wetlands, including lakes with bird hides.

Parc Slip Nature Park lies in a valley bottom on the watershed between the Ogmore and Afon Kenfig catchments, and has had a history of mining from the nineteenth century to the present day.

Restoration of the landform from colliery coal tips and opencast mining had been completed by the mid 1980s, and a five-year plan was undertaken to enhance natural succession and recreate semi-natural habitats, such as wildflower meadows, ponds, reedbeds, a wader scrape, and broadleaved woodland.

The Park is made up of broadleaved and coniferous plantations, improved grassland, and four flower rich fields, which are being managed as pasture.

These grassland areas provide feeding and roosting habitat for Snipe in winter, and nesting sites for Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, and Skylark in summer.

There are four bird hides, overlooking three wetland sites, a wader scrape, a small lake with an island, and Park Pond. A further three wetlands and open water areas add further interest.

The wader scrapes which were added in 2013 have attracted a wide range of wildlife which can be observed from the Mary Gillham raised hide.

Mute Swan, Mallard and Tufted Duck breed within the Park, and Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall, Pochard, Red-breasted Merganser and Water Rail are seen in winter. Twenty species of dragonfly have been recorded, including the Emperor (6-8), Four Spot Chaser (5-8), and the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (6-8).

Bee orchid

Bee orchid

The site supports seven species of orchid, including Bee (6-7), Common Spotted (6-8), Southern Marsh (5-6), Twayblade (5-8) and Broad-leaved Helleborine (7-9).

This beautiful video has been made of the site by Robin Davies-Rollinson.

Location and Access Notes

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 151 Cardiff and Bridgend. Main entrance: SS881841, Site centre: SS880840

Tenure Managed in collaboration with British Coal from 1989 onwards, the freehold was transferred to the Trust in November 1999 by the Coal Authority. The Trust purchased Park Pond in December 1977.

Size 124.9 ha (308.4 acres).

1 km west of Aberkenfig, adjacent to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales headquarters building. Tourist sign posts indicate the route from junction 36 of the M4, car park off Fountain Road. Access for wheelchairs. The site is on the route number 4 of the National Cycle Network. There is also a cafe at our visitor centre on site.

Public transport

Bus number 63 from Bridgend bus station stops outside the Fountain Inn at the bottom of Fountain Road, and there is a train station at Tondu.

A downloadable version of this leaflet is available.

Parc Slip

Pwll Waun Cynon – Mountain Ash

Pwll Waun Cynon by Chris Lawrence

Pwll Waun Cynon by Chris Lawrence

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 166 Rhondda and Merthyr Tydfil. Main entrance: ST035998 Site centre: ST034997

Tenure Lord Aberdare generously gave the reserve to the Trust in November 1986.

Size 7.2 ha (17.8 acres).

Location and Access Notes

Pwll Waun Cynon pool1 km northwest of Mountain Ash. The reserve is situated between the A4059 Aberdare to Mountain Ash road and the A4224 Aberaman to Mountain Ash road, south of the river Cynon, and is bisected by a railway line. Access can be obtained from the public footpath, which crosses the reserve from the A4059, opposite the comprehensive school, to the A4224. Not accessible to wheelchairs.

Public Transport

Trains from Cardiff to Abercynon South or Mountain Ash, bus numbers X5, X4 and 27 from Cardiff to Mountain Ash and Abercynon.

Description:

The site has a selection of habitats including a large pond, marsh, flood meadow, acidic Oak and Ash woodland and scrub.

Pwll Waun CynonThe reserve is situated in an area that was previously known as one of the most polluted parts of the UK in the days of the adjacent Phurnacite plant. After the plant closed in the late 1980s the pond and surrounding area recovered completely and now support an impressive selection of water birds including breeding Little Grebe, Mallard, Moorhen, and Reed Bunting, with regular visitors including Kingfisher, and Grey Heron, with Dipper and Common Sandpiper on the River Cynon at the boundary.

There are stands of Arrowhead (7-8), a scarcity in Glamorgan, to be found in the wetter parts of the woodland.

The pond also has several uncommon plants including Fat Duckweed (6-7), Water Chickweed (7-8) Marsh Yellow-cress (6-9) Great Pond Sedge (5-6) and Common Club-rush (6-7), and provides a habitat for aquatic insects, including dragonflies such as Common Blue Damselfly (5-9) and Southern Hawker (7-9), and this site harbours the occasional Mink.

 

Pwll Waun Cynon

Taf Fechan – Merthyr Tydfil

Taf Fechan Gorge by Carys Solman
Taf Fechan Nature Reserve by Chris Lawrence

Taf Fechan Nature Reserve by Chris Lawrence

Please note: The footpath that runs alongside the Cyfarthfa leat is closed due to scheduled repair works on the retaining wall. This part of the footpath is physically closed but the rest of the footpath through the reserve is still accessible.  Apologies for any inconvenience.

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 166 Rhondda and Merthyr Tydfil. Main entrance: SO037076, Site centre: SO035085

Status Part of the Cwm Taff Fechan Woodlands SSSI, and a Local Nature Reserve.

Tenure Acquired in February 1975, under a 99 year lease. The site is managed jointly by the Trust, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and a tenant farmer.

Size 42 ha (102.5 acres).

A downloadable version of this leaflet is available.

Location and Access Notes

Situated in the Taf Fechan valley, between the Old River Bridge at Cefn Coed y Cymmer and the river bridge at Pontsarn, it is about 2.5 km north of the centre of Merthyr Tydfil. Access is gained in three places, at the southern end of the site at Cefn Coed bridge (SO037076), in the middle by way of a footpath north of Trefechan village, and at the northern end by Pontsarn bridge at a car park (which is currently kept locked due to fly-tipping) and picnic site near the Blue Pool (SO045097). Not accessible to wheelchairs.

Public Transport

Train station at Merthyr Tydfil from where bus numbers 25 & 26 go to Cefn Coed y Cymmer and numbers 40, 33 & 24 go to Pontsarn

Description: Ancient broadleaved woodlands, calcareous grasslands, river, and cliffs.

Taf Fechan Gorge by Carys Solman

Taf Fechan Gorge by Carys Solman

The Taf Fechan LNR comprises about 2.5 km of river with steep valley sides of Carboniferous limestone. The river has eroded the limestone into a narrow gorge in the centre of the site. A mosaic of deciduous woodland on the slopes with a canopy of Beech, Birch and Ash, gives way to Alder and Grey Willow closer to the river, together with Hawthorn scrub, calcareous grassland, heathland, wet flushes, and tufa formations. The valley is one of the best recorded sites for bryophytes in Glamorgan.

The area of grazed grassland to the south on the east bank of the river is particularly rich in flowers such as Wild Thyme (5-8), Common Spotted Orchid (6-8), Rough Hawkbit (6-9) and Mouse-ear Hawkweed (5-8). On the western bank, the limestone is overlain by acidic soils where heathland and Birch woodland is developing, and Bracken, Heather (7-9) and Small Scabious (7-9) occur.

The woodland attracts a variety of birds such as Tawny Owl, Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Nuthatch, and Treecreeper, while Dipper and Grey Wagtail are frequently seen, and breed, on the river Taff Fechan.

The grassland and heathland provide a habitat for butterflies such as Common Blue (4-9), Meadow Brown (6-9), Small Copper (5-9), and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (5-7).

Of archaeological interest are the old tramway to Cyfarthfa Ironworks, which makes up part of the footpath on the eastern bank, the feeder to the Cyfarthfa Park lake at the southern end of the site, and remains of fulling and corn mills on the river bank.

Please note that the river next to the Gurnos quarry may contain unseen hazards and as a result the Trust does not consider the site suitable for wild swimming or play.

This beautiful video by Robin Davies-Rollison gives you an insight into this special reserve.

Taf Fechan

Y Gweira

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 151 Cardiff and Bridgend. Main entrance: ST051850, Site centre: ST052849

Status The site is part of the Llantrisant Common and Pastures SSSI. The site is covered by a Tree Preservation Order.

Skylark by Amy Lewis

Skylark by Amy Lewis

Tenure The reserve was purchased June 2001 with grant aid from CCW.

Size 6.5 ha (16 acres).

You can download a copy of this sheet.

Location and Access Notes

Public transport: Bus numbers 244 from Bridgend or 400 from Cardiff to Llantrisant or Beddau

Y Gweira is located at the north-eastern corner of Llantrisant Common, south of Castellau Road. The common lies west of the village of Beddau, and 1 km north of Llantrisant. Not accessible to wheelchairs.

Description: Marshy grassland and lowland wet heathland.

The pasture is made up of a mosaic of wet heath, mire, and marshy grassland dominated by Purple Moor Grass. Much of the grassland has plenty of Tormentil (6-9), together with species such as Sheep’s Fescue, Mat Grass and Heath Rush, and supports a strong, large population of Petty Whin (5-6). The wet heath is identified by the presence of Cross-leaved Heath (7-8) and Heather (8-9).

Y GweiraOccasional areas where the soil is slightly less acidic are distinguished by the presence of Meadow Thistle (6-7). Royal Fern has been found in two areas associated with the ditches on the site.

This open habitat supports breeding Meadow Pipit, and Skylark, and a variety of invertebrates including butterflies; hopefully the Marsh Fritillary (5-6) in future, and dragonflies such as the Common Darter (6-9).

Brynna Woods and Llanharan Marsh

Bluebells © Vaughn Matthews
Sleepy Dormouse

Brynna woods comprises of 38ha of secondary, and some ancient, semi-natural woodland, scrub, marshy grassland, dry grassland and ruderal habitats.

Directions – Leave the M4 at J35, take A473 towards Pencoed, go through the next three roundabouts taking the second exits, this will take you on to Brynna Road.

Follow this road for approx 1 mile and turn right into woodlands, the site will be signposted from there. Please follow the countryside code.

The watercourse of Ewenni Fach runs through the area from east to west, and several smaller streams also run through the site from north to south, feeding down into the Ewenni Fach. The main line of the Great Western Railway forms the southern boundary of the site, and a disused railway line forms the northern boundary.

There are a number of public footpaths and bridleways on site, also two circular walks taking in the lovely mix of countryside.

The site is a haven for wildlife, notably the dormouse, populations have declined significantly as a result of changes in woodland management and over grazing of woodland leading to loss of food sources and fragmentation of habitats with gaps of 100m leading to colonies being prone to genetic isolation and extinction. Dormice, therefore are afforded strict legal protection through UK and European law. The dormouse is listed on schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Coal mining in the Llanharan South area is recorded back to the 1870s. There is still evidence of this in Brynna Wood with shafts and mine adits still standing to this day.

These are excellent habitats for bats, The Llanharan area is of known significance for bats, with the nationally rare and declining lesser horseshoe bat and barbastelle bat both having been recorded in the area recently.

We have been lucky enough to work with film maker Robin Davies Rollinson to produce this lovely film about the reserve and the local community who have been so involved with its care and management over the last few years. This reserve has been created in partnership with the local Community Council and the local people of Llanharan and Brynna.

Walk Description – The two circular walks will take you through woodland and meadows, the woodland is a mix of ash, oak, willow and hazel and there is a fantastic display of bluebells in spring.

Access – Two circular walks around woodland, some paths can get muddy, wear appropriate footwear and suitable clothing. There is one stile on the longer walk. Refreshments are available locally.

Brynna Map

You can download the information sheet about Brynna Nature Reserve.