From Brecon follow the A40 east for 2 miles, and turn left, then right for Groesffordd. Just before entering Groesffordd turn right again for Llanfihangel Tal-y-llyn. After half a mile, a wide verge on the right indicates the starting point for foot access. Proceed through the left hand gate and walk along the disused railway line for half a mile until you come to the reserve entrance gate.
Nearest town: Groesffordd. Post code LD3 7SU.
GridReferenceSO 087 277
DirectionsFind out here
Public TransportFind out here
Walking InformationThe reserve is an open access reserve, you are allowed to visit the reserve on foot for your quiet enjoyment of the wildlife present. A path runs the length of the reserve along the old railway bed.
AccessUnsuitable for wheelchairs.
ParkingPark considerately on side of track, and walk along course of old railway to site.
DogsPlease keep dogs under close control.
Factsheets and Guides for Your Visit
This small nature reserve, which gives excellent views of the Brecon Beacons, is a section of the former Brecon to Merthyr railway line. Originally built as the Brecon to Hay-on-Wye tramroad, it became a railway in 1864. The line closed in 1964 and became a nature reserve in 1980.
The woodland beyond contains a seasonal pond that dries up in summer.
The reserve annually hosts many species of woodland birds such as treecreeper, goldcrest and bullfinch while summer migrants include chiffchaff, blackcap, spotted flycatcher and redstart. The meadow is home to many interesting moths and other insects and a species list of all flora and fauna is available.
Much work since 2017 has been carried out at the reserve to increase its potential to encourage a more diverse flora and fauna and access to the reserve will also be easier in 2019.
What to look out for
To the left of the flower-rich grassland at the site entrance is a row of trees that include oak, beech, wych elm and mountain ash. Watch out for mallard, grey wagtail and dipper.
The disused railway is an important feature in the landscape for commuting and foraging bats, including the rare lesser horseshoe bat.
In the spring and summer the repetitive call of the chiffchaff, the musical warble of the blackcap and the soft, descending call of the willow warbler can be heard.
Species and habitats
HabitatsBrownfield, Hedgerows, Lowland Meadows, Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland, Ponds
SpeciesAzure Damselfly, Black Knapweed, Black-kneed Capsid Bug, Blackcap, Candlesnuff fungus, Cardinal Beetle, Chiffchaff, Collared Earthstar fungus, Common Blue Damselfly, Common Carder bee, Common Damsel Bug, Common Shrew, Cream Spot Ladybird, Dog Sick Slime Mould, Early-purple Orchid, Forest Bug (Shield bug), Green Shield Bug, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Hawthorn Button Top Gall, Hornet, Marmalade Hoverfly, Meadow Grasshopper, Moschatel, Nuthatch, Oakmoss Lichen, Pompilid Wasp, Pygmy Shrew, Red Tailed Bumblebee, Redstart, Rhinoceros Beetle, Robins Pin Cushion, Scarlet Elf-cup Fungus, Soldier Beetle, Southern Hawker Dragonfly, Spotted Flycatcher, Tawny Mining Bee, Tree Bumblebee, Treecreeper, Turnip Sawfly, Twayblade, Water Cricket, Welsh Chafer, Whirligig beetle, Yellow Archangel, Zigzag Clover
Local Warden’s Blog
- Making Omlettes on Ystradfawr!In March of this year, the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales had funding through the Powys People and Places project to undertake habitat work for Marsh Fritillaries with the help of contractors. Here’s an update from Stephanie Coates, Wildlife Trust Officer for Brecknock. Our Ystradfawr reserve is quite extensive, neighbouring a number of ...
- Brecknock Reserves: From Summer to AutumnOur Comms Officer Madison Bowden-Parry (MBP) caught up with Stephanie Coates (SC), our Wildlife Trust Officer for Brecknock, to hear the latest on Brecknock reserves, management and badger action over these past few months. MBP: I loved hearing more about the Marsh Frit monitoring last month, do you have any more updates for us? SC: Over ...
- Green Connection Powys – New project launchGreen Connections Powys is a collaborative Wildlife Trusts project across Powys that will be working with community groups, small businesses, landowners and statutory organisations to take local action to address climate change and biodiversity loss and create a Nature Recovery Network across the county. The project runs until March 2023 and has received funding through the ...
- Pwll y Wrach reserve updateHere’s Stephanie Coates, our Wildlife Trust Officer with an update on our Brecknock reserves and work party activities. In Ystradgynlais we have had a couple of parties pulling and cutting balsam including a training event. Local volunteer Andrew G has been doing extra balsam pulling and found other areas to manage outside of the reserve. There ...
- People and Wildlife in BrecknockFor this feature, we chatted to Pauline Hill, People and Wildlife Officer and Stephanie Coates, Wildlife Trust Officer all about their work with landowners to enhance biodiversity, remove invasive species and undertake surveys, monitoring and management work. See our ‘Updates from Pwll y Wrach’ feature for Brecknock reserve updates. Both Steph and Pauline have ...
- Updates from our Brecknock Nature ReservesPaths, gates and rock falls, the Brecknock team have been busy this Spring! During April and early May we have been doing some repairs on the Brecknock Nature Reserves using materials purchased with the NRW Strategic Partnership grant. A 12’ gate was replaced at Glasbury Cutting and firmly shut to keep the horses off the reserve. ...