Description: Mixed broadleaved and wet woodland, partly ancient, and pond.
Gelli-hir is situated on deep glacial drift over Carboniferous grits and shales. The reserve grades from wet Oak/Birch/Willow woodland in the south and east to drier Ash, Sweet Chestnut, Sycamore and Beech woodland in the north and west, with Alder along the Ilston brook. There is an understorey of Hazel coppice with stands of Holly in places. The variety of habitat types also include open rides, streams and a pond.
Fallen timber, stumps, and rot holes support an abundance of lower plants, fungi, and invertebrates, including some nationally scarce hoverflies.
There is a large and varied population of breeding birds including Buzzard, Tawny Owl, and Sparrowhawk in the woodland, and Mallard and Moorhen around the pond, with the occasional Green Sandpiper passing through, as well as insects, such as Blue-tailed Damselfly (5-8) and Common Darter (6-9).
Moths and butterflies are well represented, including species such as Comma (3-5 + 7-9), Holly Blue (4-5 + 7-8), Silver-washed Fritillary (6-8) and Speckled wood (4-10). The wood harbours a population of Dormouse.
Grid References O.S. Explorer map 164 Gower. Main entrance: SS562924, Site centre: SS562925
Status The woodland is covered by a Tree Preservation Order.
Tenure The reserve was purchased by the Trust in October 1967 with the help of a grant from the Gower Society, SPNR, and WWF.
Size 28.6 ha (70.8 acres).
Location and Access Notes
The wood lies on the northern edge of Fairwood Common. Access is gained by way of a field gate and stile on the east side of the unclassified road, which runs north from the B4271 to Cil-onen. There is a small car park inside the gate, and a lay-by opposite. Wheelchair access to central ride.
Services 21 or 119 from Swansea Quadrant Bus Station to Three Crosses, then walk along Cilonen Road or Fairwood Common.