Grid References O.S. Explorer map 178, Llanelli and Ammanford. Main entrance: SN557073, Site centre: SN555071
Status Notified as part of the Gwernedd Pembre SSSI.
Tenure Freehold owned since 1995 with support from CCW and NHMF.
Size 6 ha (14.8 acres).
Location and Access Notes
Public transport Bus numbers 128 and 196 from Carmarthen and Llanelli to Llannon, no buses run directly past the site.
1 mile south east of the village of Llannon.
Take the B4306 road from Llannon and turn left at the cross-roads. Follow a small track 600 m on the right, and the field is a few hundred metres to the south of Tir Lan. Roadside parking in Llannon or on the lane just before Tir Lan farm, access via track from Tir Lan Farm. No footpaths; not accessible for wheelchairs.
Rhos Cefn Bryn consists of unimproved acid grassland. This type of grassland is generally confined to west Wales and is a feature associated with Carmarthenshire and south Ceredigion. Such habitats are becoming scarcer resulting in the loss of important areas for many specialised species of birds, reptiles and insects.
The reserve is made up of two fields (Cefn Bryn and Tir Lan). These are dominated by Purple Moor Grass and together with other plants such as Cross-leaved Heath and Heather (Ling), Cotton Grass, Bog Asphodel (7-8), Bog Myrtle (4-5), Marsh Lousewort (5-9) and Devil’s-bit Scabious (6-10), the larval food-plant of the Marsh Fritillary, form a ‘rhos-like’ pasture, which has received traditional management over previous years.
The reserve supports a thriving population of the endangered and declining Marsh Fritillary butterfly, which can be seen from May until September and the caterpillars can be found in larval webs most conspicuous during September and October. Other invertebrates present include the Marbled White and Small Copper butterflies and the Six-spot Burnet moth.
Dormice can be found in the wooded areas at both ends of the fields and in the adjacent hedgerow and are most active between July and October. Adders and Common Lizard can be seen basking in the sun during the summer months.
Ground nesting birds such as Meadow Pipit and Snipe feed on the plentiful supply of insects in the grassland, and Reed Bunting can be seen feeding amongst the scrub and Willow carr.