Allt Grug Garn between Pennant and Cilcennen, Ceredigion

Grid References: O.S. Explorer map 199 Lampeter. Main entrance; SN517617, Site centre; SN518617
Status: None
Tenure: Leased from the Forestry Commission in 1965, the site was subsequently purchased in 1986.
Size: 0.38 ha (0.94 acres)

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Location and Access Notes

Public transport: There are no buses to the reserve

Take B4337 from Llanrhystud, turn west on unsigned road at SN541625. First right after 4.5km and 400m takes you to Grug Garn farm gate. Access is opposite Grug Garn Farm entry, where there is space for one car and one opposite but take care on the soft verge. Follow the track to the left to the wire fence surrounding the reserve. No access for wheelchairs.

Emperor moths by Zorba the Greek shared under Creative Commons licence

Emperor moths by Zorba the Greek shared under Creative Commons licence

Description: Relic lowland heathland with oak and birch invasion.

The southern third of the site contains the remains of an old plantation, while the northern two thirds is made up of tall old heathland growing on 80cm of peat.

Heather should show a cyclical succession where pioneer, building, senescent, and degenerating stages give way to one another over a 30-50 year period. Studies on this site, since 1976, indicates that there is very little heather regeneration, but instead a considerable successional pressure. Western Gorse (7-11) has invaded the site followed by Birch, Rowan (5-6) and Willow with a further threat from Beech.

The senescent Heather (8-10) bushes show a classic sequence of lichens and bryophytes around their bases, including 7 species of Parmelia, 2 Ramalina, and Unsea florida, the latter indicating particularly clean air quality. Narrow buckler fern (Dryopteris carthusiana) is also present.

There is also an unusual fungi association to be found. False Truffle Elaphonomyces muricatus occur in the leaf litter amongst the Birch, together with their fungal parasite the Club fungus Cordiceps ophioglossoides, whose striking fruiting bodies show up amongst the carpet of green moss, Dicranum scoparium. Invertebrates include the Emperor moth.

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Map of Allt Crug Garn