Grid References: O.S. Explorer map 199 Lampeter. Main entrance: SN608672, Site centre: SN607674
Status: The lake bed is an NNR. The surrounding land forms part of a larger SSSI.
Tenure: The majority of the reserve has been owned (freehold) since the early 1980s. 10.8 ha are leased from the Crown Estate Commissioners.
Size: 55.2 ha (136.3 acres).
Location and Access Notes
Public transport: The 588 Aberystwyth/Lampeter bus service goes through Trefenter (Mon-Sat). The 585 Aberystwyth/Lampeter bus service passes through Bronnant regularly (Mon-Sat), a 4-5 km walk from the lake.
3.5 km west of Bronnant. Roadside parking just north of cattle grid, on minor road to Trefenter. Public footpath along ridge or access along western shore only; not accessible for wheelchairs.
Description: Oligotrophic-mesotrophic lake, upland heathland and mire. Natural upland lake, 300 m above sea level.
The lake is some 10.5 ha in extent with a maximum depth of c. 7 m. The site is remarkable for its flora, supporting abundant stands of Water Lobelia (7-9) with carpets of Shoreweed (6-9), Spring Quillwort and Quillwort, and Awlwort (6-7) here at one of its southernmost stations in the United Kingdom, where it forms a curious association with Floating Water-plantain (4-8). At the southern end, there are extensive beds of emergent Bottle Sedge (5-8) and Water Horsetail which grade into the bog vegetation at the top end of the lake dominated by Cotton grass (4-9) and bog moss Sphagnum sp.
The lake is important locally for wintering wildfowl, including Coot, Mallard, Pochard, Teal, and Wigeon with part of the flock of Whooper Swan which winter in central Ceredigion. Black-throated Diver and Green-winged Teal have visited the lake in recent years. The site holds a good variety of aquatic invertebrates including Keeled Skimmer, and the sponge-feeding caddis fly Ceraclea fulva being of particular interest. Water Voles inhabit the vegetated shoreline. The lake waters host populations of native Brown Trout, Pike, Minnow and Three-spined Stickleback.
The surrounding area of upland heathland and acidic grassland is typical of this part of mid Wales and is common land. Most is an unimproved sward of Mat Grass (3-6) which grades into Mat Grass-Bilberry (4-6) heath with Heath Bedstraw (5-9), Sheep’s Fescue (5-7) and Tormentil (4-9). There are also areas of Heather (8-10).
North of the lake is small valley mire complex with a good cover of Bog Mosses with much Cotton Grass and also Bog Asphodel (6-8), Cranberry (5-7), and Round-leaved Sundew (6-8). HOWEVER BEWARE VERY SOFT GROUND IN PLACES.