Talley Lakes, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

Talley Lakes from above

Talley Lakes from above

Talley Lakes downloadable leaflet for printing (102 KB)

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Grid References O.S. Explorer map 186 Llandeilo & Brechfa Forest. Main entrances: SN632328 or SN635329, Site centre: SN631335

Status SSSI. Please note that the nature reserve boardwalk and bird hide are closed from 30th November 2020 until further notice. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

Talley by V Matthews

Talley by V Matthews

Tenure: Leased from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Size 25 ha (61.75 acres).

Location and Access Notes

7 miles north of Llandeilo on the B4302 beside the village of Talley. Off road parking near abbey. Footpath across private land from gate on minor road past abbey to a stile between the two lakes; not accessible for wheelchairs.
No public transport routes known.

Description: Mesotrophic/eutrophic lakes, fen, and wet woodland.

The reserve consists of two lakes lying in glacial hollows separated by a narrow neck of land. This neck of land contains a mound which is a Norman motte, scheduled by Cadw. A narrow canal allows water to flow from the upper lake to the lower, and allows the movement of fish and eels. The lower, northern lake extends for some 27 acres and exhibits a complete vegetational sequence from open water, through reedswamp to Alder and Willow carr. The lake is not easily accessible, and is thus ideal for overwintering wildfowl, breeding ducks, grebes and swans.

Talley Geese by V Matthews

Talley Geese by V Matthews

The upper, southern lake is almost 16 acres in extent and can be seen from nearby roads. In summer the flowers and floating leaves of the Yellow and White Water Lily (7-8) are a striking feature, as is Water-crowfoot (5-9). Both Shoreweed (6-8) and Bladder Sedge still occur, which were recorded back in 1773. Water Sedge is here at its most southerly location.
The lakes were once oligotrophic but are now subject to eutrophication, causing the loss of some plants. There is a bird hide between the two lakes.

Great Crested Grebes and Mute Swans regularly breed and Tufted Duck and Pochard visit. Goldeneye and Goosanders are also winter visitors. Scarce visitors have included Red-necked Grebe, Scaup, Smew, Whooper and Bewicks Swans as well as Flycatchers in the summer.

Locally important invertebrates such as Water Beetles occur and a leaf beetle Donacia obscura. Dragonflies are well represented, including Emperor Dragonfly. Otter spraint has been recorded.