Grid References O.S. Explorer Map 187 Llandovery. Site centre: SN784356, Main entrance: SN781351
Tenure Leased from Llandovery Town Council since 1983.
Size 16.7 ha (41 acres).
Location and Access Notes
Public transport Shrewsbury to Swansea train service calls at Llandovery, from where the reserve is a 25 minute walk. There are bus services between Llandeilo, Llandovery and Brecon, but no known nearby bus stops. Bus stop is in town centre and is a 25 minute walk to the reserve.
2 km east north east of Llandovery. The reserve can be accessed by way of an unclassified road, which leaves the A40 at SN778343, and terminates at the Dan yr Allt Farm at the southern end of the adjacent Forestry Commission woodland. Cars can only be parked near the entrance to the lane. A public right of way gives access to the reserve from 300 m down the track after the bungalow. Tracks and paths can be muddy and steep.
Ancient upland Oak woodland and stream.
Poor Man’s Wood is a Sessile Oak wood with a Hazel understorey, on a hillside with a northerly aspect. The canopy also includes Rowan, Holly, Crab Apple, Sallow, Ash, and Elder, with a few Beech at the northwest end. There is a small quantity of Wild Service trees, a local species.
The ground flora is more limited on the upper slopes, with Bilberry (5-6) and abundant moss carpets but a wider range of woodland flowers occur lower down including Bluebell (4-6), Wood Anemone (3-4), Wood Sorrel (4-5), Ground Ivy (3-5), Lesser Celandine (3-5), Yellow Archangel (5-6), Campion and Wood Violet. Epiphytes are abundant. A stream marks the northern boundary, but there are relatively few wet flushes. Acidic rocks outcrop near the stream, and moisture-loving bryophytes such as the sub-oceanic temperate “liverwort looking” moss, Hookera lucens grow well.
The breeding bird assemblage, typical of this upland Oak woodland habitat, includes Blackcap, Buzzard, Nuthatch, Pied Flycatcher, and Wood Warbler, with both Great and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker having been seen. Buzzards also nest in the wood and mammals include Badger.
The woodland was donated to the town of Llandovery by Vicar Pritchard, the author of ‘Canwell y Cymry – The Welshman’s Candle’ in the sixteenth century, one of his conditions being that the Council and townsfolk of Llandovery could “on foot only, enter on the property demised, for the purpose of taking dead wood for fuel, being such amount that they can carry on their backs.” The wood was also used for lead mining in the nineteenth century. Coppicing has been carried out towards the town end.