Cwm Ivy Woods and Betty Church Reserve, Cwm Ivy, Gower, Swansea

Description: Ancient broadleaved woodland, plantation, calcareous pasture and quarry.

Bluebells Vaughn MatthewsCwm Ivy Woods and Betty Church reserve is situated on the western extremity of the north Gower limestone escarpment. The reserve is in two parts; a section of woodland and pasture, separated by a private woodland and house, from a small limestone quarry. The two sections of the reserve are linked by the public footpath.

The larger part of the reserve is a fine example of Ash wood with some Oak, Sycamore and planted Beech. Plants such as Bluebell (4-6), Dog’s Mercury (2-4), Early Purple Orchid (4-5) and Wood Avens (6-9) are abundant. Limestone outcrops and fallen timber provide habitats for ferns and bryophytes.

The Betty Church bequest consists of three fields, the largest of which is maintained as grassland with wide hedges, and where planted Snowdrops (1-3) and Daffodils (2-4) flourish in spring, and Oxeye Daisy (6-8), Black Knapweed (6-9) and Crosswort (5-6) can be seen in summer. This field also provides good views of Cwm Ivy Marsh and the Whiteford NNR in winter. The two smaller fields have been planted with deciduous native trees such as Ash, Field Maple and Hazel to provide an extension to Cwm Ivy Woods and as additional cover for birds.

The old limestone quarry displays an advanced stage of colonisation. Its open grazed floor supports an interesting sward of lime-loving plants, such as Milkwort (5-9) and Wild Thyme (5-7).

Grid References O.S. Explorer map 164 Gower. Main entrance: SS438937, Site centre: SS442937

Status A small part of the leasehold land is notified SSSI, being part of the Cwm Ivy Marsh, Dunes, and Tor SSSI.

Tenure In August 1964, 2.4 ha (5.9 acres) of the woods and the quarry was purchased with financial help and grant aid from SPNR’s Nuffield Fund, the Pilgrim Trust, and WWF. The remaining 8.7 ha (21.5 acres) of woodland was acquired under a 60 year lease in 1965. 2.2 ha (5.4 acres) at the western end was given to the Trust in 1983 as a bequest by Betty Church in whose memory it is named.

Size 13.5 ha (32.8 acres).

Location and Access Notes
0.25 km east of the hamlet of Cwm Ivy. Access to both parts of the reserve can be obtained from the public footpath which runs between Cheriton and Cwm Ivy, along the base of the scarp. Parking in the village of Llanmadoc.

Public transport
Bus service 116 from Swansea Quadrant Bus Station to Llanmadoc.

Cwm Ivy Woods and Betty Church