Llyn Fach, Rhigos Road, Neath Port Talbot

Llyn Fach by Graham Watkeys

Llyn Fach by Graham Watkeys

Description: The nature reserve features a large nutrient-poor glacial lake, overlooked by dramatic north-east facing cliffs and scree, dotted with rowan trees. The damp and shady outcrops, ledges and crevices provide undisturbed habitat for montane species such as Wilson’s Filmy Fern and Fir Clubmoss, and other interesting species such as Cowberry and Beech Fern.

Great Woodrush and Bilberry flourish on the steep slopes and ledges, and a mosaic of recovering acid grassland, marshy grassland, heathland and bog can be found in the extensive clearfelled area of former forestry to the east of the lake.

The lake supports Water Lobelia in its southernmost British location, the regionally rare Floating-leaved Bur-reed, and extensive beds of Broad-leaved Pondweed and Water Horsetail.

Llyn Fach by Graham Watkeys

Llyn Fach by Graham Watkeys

The lake is home to a rich variety of dragonflies and damselflies, provides breeding habitat for Common Frog, Toad and Palmate Newt, and has one of the last remaining populations of Water Vole in Glamorgan. Otter are frequent visitors, and Trout can often be observed leaping from the water. Coot, Little Grebe and Heron are sometimes seen on the water or nesting in the vegetated margins.

A rich variety birds of prey can be spotted all year round, and Nightjar, Snipe, Cuckoo and Crossbill are known to utilise the clearfell and surrounding conifers. Ring Ouzel and Fieldfare are regular autumn visitors, when large flocks of migrating birds can also be seen stopping off to feed at the lake.

Grid References Grid References: OS Explorer Map 166. Main Entrances: SN906040, SN904038. Site Centre: SN906036

Status Part of the Craig y Llyn SSSI. Also includes part of the Cwm Gwrelych and Nant Llyn Fach Streams SSSI.

Tenure Leased for 25 years from July 2017 from Natural Resources Wales

Size 35 ha (86 acres)

Location and Access Notes

Llyn Fach is around 5km south-west of Hirwaun. The reserve is approx. 3km walk along forestry tracks from Cwm-hwnt or the lookout point parking on Rhigos Road, A4061. The Coed Morgannwg Way can be used to access the cliff tops. No wheelchair access and a limited network of paths.

Public Transport
The village of Rhigos is served by Stagecoach Route 8 from Aberdare.

This leaflet can be downloaded

Map of Llyn Fach