Grid References: O.S. Explorer map 213 Aberystwyth & Cwm Rheidol. Main entrance: SN712787, alternatives at SN716785 and SN718783. Site centre: SN717786.
Status: The site is part of a notified SSSI and NNR, and in turn is part of the European Natura 2000 site, the Rheidol Woods & Gorges Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
Tenure: Purchased by the Trust in 1980 with funds from the Dyfed Wildlife Appeal, and grant aid from NCC and WWF, with various additions over later years.
Size: 36.3 ha (89.7 acres).
Location and Access Notes
Public transport: None
There is space for a single car by the main gate, adjacent to Glynrheidol Farm. Footpaths, many steep; not accessible to wheelchairs.
Description: Ancient upland Oak woodland.
The reserve is a Sessile Oak wood on a steep south-facing slope. The canopy is almost pure Sessile Oak, with Downy and Silver Birch dominant in some areas. A stream, at the eastern end, drains steeply into the Afon Rheidol. Here the canopy is more diverse with additional species such as Alder, Ash, Blackthorn (3-4), Small-leaved Lime, Sycamore, Wild Cherry (4-5), and Wych Elm.
The ground flora is typical of acid woodland in mid Wales, and includes Bluebell (4-6), Common Cow-wheat (6-8), Common Violet (4-6), Foxglove (7-8), Sheep’s-bit (5-9), Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage (3-5), Primrose (2-5), Wood Anemone (3-5), Yellow Pimpernel (5-9), Heather (8-10), and Bilberry (4-6).
Nine species of fern are recorded, including Wilson’s Filmy Fern (6-7), which occurs in small quantity on the steep rock on the southwest side of the stream, along with the calcicolous moss Ctenidium molluscum and the prominent leafy liverwort, Bazzania tribolata.
Breeding birds include species typical of this type of woodland, such as Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, and Wood Warbler. Buzzard, Jackdaw, Jay, Long-tailed Tit, Raven, and Robin are also regularly seen. Badgers use the reserve extensively, and Brown Hares use the woodland edges.
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