This small nature reserve, which gives excellent views of the Brecon Beacons, is a section of the former Brecon to Merthyr railway line. Originally built as the Brecon to Hay-on-Wye tramroad, it became a railway in 1864. The line closed in 1964 and became a nature reserve in 1980.
The woodland beyond contains a seasonal pond that dries up in summer.
The reserve annually hosts many species of woodland birds such as treecreeper, goldcrest and bullfinch while summer migrants include chiffchaff, blackcap, spotted flycatcher and redstart. The meadow is home to many interesting moths and other insects and a species list of all flora and fauna is available.
Much work since 2017 has been carried out at the reserve to increase its potential to encourage a more diverse flora and fauna and access to the reserve will also be easier in 2019.
The reserve consists of three wildflower meadows and a large area of woodland. The reserve lies on the site of a former coal-mine and is a wonderful example of how nature can reclaim an area.
This wildflower-rich meadow and wet pasture is set on the side of a hill in the Irfon valley and lies adjacent to the Nant Irfon National Nature Reserve.
Many years ago, the local vicarage owned Vicarage Meadows. The fields provided a hay crop and a place to graze horses and cows. The small stone barn was used as a shelter for milking cows.
We continue to use traditional management methods with a hay crop being taken off one field and Exmoor ponies grazing the whole site, giving the reserve’s many wildflowers the chance to flourish.
The Pen y Waun nature reserve consists of two small fields situated on the edge of Waun-y-Mynach common. The fields were former garden plots for nearby cottages.
This reserve is a good example of a traditional wildflower meadow, a rare habitat in these days of intensively managed farmland where large quantities of both fertiliser and grazing animals are applied to meadows that may have once looked like this, but are now bright green with very few plant species surviving.
This nature reserve used to be part of the railway line from Brecon to Hereford. Parts of the railway were built along the line of the earlier 1818 Brecon to Eardisley horse-drawn tramroad that carried coal and wool. The railway company opened the line for steam in 1864. In 1962 the line closed and in 1970 it became a nature reserve.
This wildflower meadow has always been managed traditionally with grazing by cattle or ponies from spring to autumn. This kind of rough, damp grassland is known in Wales as Rhos pasture and is becoming rare. Please keep dogs on a lead as skylarks often nest within the rough grass.