Grid References: O.S. Explorer map 198 Cardigan and New Quay. Main entrance: SN497511, Site centre: SN498514
Status: Notified SSSI.
Tenure: The freehold of the reserve was purchased in 1979 using funds raised through the Dyfed Wildlife Appeal, and with grant aid from NCC and WWF.
Size: 15 ha (37 acres)
Location and Access Notes
Public transport: None.
Leave Gorsgoch village south eastwards for 150 m on the minor road to Glyn-yr-Helyg. Roadside parking near the entrance to the Glyn-yr-Helyg lane (SN486502). On reaching Glyn-yr-Helyg farm (on foot) proceed through the yard to the gate opposite and along the track overlooking the reserve to the entrance gate at SN497511. No formal footpaths, but open access. Inaccessible by wheelchairs.
Description: Unimproved sedge-rich pasture.
Much of the southern half of the site is wet Purple Moor Grass with Sharp-flowered and Soft Rush. Among this sward are large amounts of Devil’s-bit Scabious (7-9) (the food plant of Marsh Fritillary butterfly (5-7)), Sneezewort (7-10), and Whorled Caraway (6-8). By contrast, the northern portion is a drier grassland, rich in flowering plants such as Black Knapweed (6-9), Cat’s-ear (6-10), Eyebright (5-10), and Lousewort (4-6), with Dyer’s Greenweed (6-10), and some Heather (8-10). Scarce species include Moonwort (6-8), and Frog Orchid (6-8). Since the site was acquired by the Trust a total of 240 higher plant species have been recorded.
Breeding birds include Willow Tit, Whinchat, Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warbler. Common Snipe and Woodcock use the site in winter.
The interest of the site is enhanced by the presence of depressions thought to be remnants of glacial features known as pingos. These hollows support a rich mire community, including Bog Asphodel (6-8), Bog Mosses, Bottle Sedge (5-8), Cross-leaved Heath (6-10), and Marsh Cinquefoil (4-7). Thirty four species of moss and 10 species of liverwort have been recorded.
Small Red Damselfly (6-8) and Keeled Skimmer (6-8) occur around these basin mires while Banded Demoiselle (6-8) occurs on the adjacent Afon Grannell, which is also used by Otters. The site is good for invertebrates with 18 species of butterfly, including a small colony of Marsh Fritillary butterflies and the Forester Moth recorded.
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