Grid References: O.S. Explorer map OL23 Cadair Idris & Llyn Tegid. Main entrance: SN666922, Site centre: SN666921
Status: Part of the reserve is notified SSSI
Tenure: The current area is managed in agreement with the Forestry Commission under a 21 year lease dated 1998.
Size: 16.4 ha (40.50 acres)
Location and Access Notes
Public transport: Bus service The X28/T2 Aberystwyth to Machynlleth regular service stops in Tre’r ddol.
16 km northeast of Aberystwyth, 13 km southwest of Machynlleth. Heading north through Tre’r-ddôl, take the small road on the right just after Soar Chapel (SN659922). Off road parking on the right near the top of the hill. Public and permissive footpaths traverse the reserve.
Description: The reserve can be divided into two principal areas, a large area of regenerating broadleaf woodland with heath pockets, and the section of more mature broadleaf woodland that is notified SSSI. The regenerating/heathy area was previously Hemlock plantation, which was clearfelled in 2000. This is now dominated by Heather and Gorse with significant Birch regeneration. Some broadleaf species have also been planted to encourage the regeneration process.
In the mature broadleaf compartment, the canopy is dominated by Sessile Oak, which show signs of being old coppice, the bark probably being used in tanning. The herb layer is a typically poor calcifuge flora.
A proportion of the wood is almost pure Ash on the more base rich soils and the ground flora is much more diverse including such plants as Dog’s Mercury (2-4), Toothwort (3-5), Smooth-stalked Sedge (6), Sweet Woodruff (5-6), and Yellow Archangel (4-6).
Due to the locally humid atmosphere, Polypody Fern (7-8) grows on many of the trees, and although the reserve is rich in flowering plants, ferns such as Oak Fern (7-8), and Beech Fern (6-8) occur. It is also particularly rich in bryophytes and lichens.
The breeding bird assemblage, typical of these sorts of habitats, includes Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Nuthatch, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Sparrowhawk and Wood Warbler.