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
- The Breconshire Bird Annual Report 2019 is now available!The Breconshire Birds Annual Report 2019 is the latest in a long line of publications going back to the 1960’s. It is a unique record of bird sightings in the Brecknock recording area (VC42). Distinct species and sub-species observed in this area throughout the year are described providing an insight into how each species is doing ...
- Brecknock Winter Bird Watch!Every year Llangorse Lake becomes home to thousands of wonderful winter wildfowl! The lake is the perfect ‘home’ or ‘fuel stop’ for many species as they make their annual journey. Even in the summer, the lake is thronging with life. Golden-eye, Tufted Duck, Manderin, Mute Swans, Shelduck, Little and Great White Egrets, Widgeon, Great-crested and Little ...
- Make a fabulous festive Christmas wreath from natural materials!Christmas is just around the corner so we thought that we’d help you get in the festive spirit by showing you how to make a DIY beautiful natural wreath that you and your family will go WILD for! Our easy step by step guide is a fun and inexpensive way to bring a touch of nature ...
- WTSWW’s Local Groups Go Digital!For many years, the Trust’s Local Members Groups have held monthly in-person meetings. The event calendar has always included enjoyable and informative talks about local wildlife and environmental projects. With field day outings in the summer to see spectacular habitats and wildlife around the UK. With COVID-19 restrictions likely to remain in place for some time, ...
- Brecknock’s Beautiful Berry Bounty!All around our reserves there seems to be a bounty of berries this year! Bright red holly berries clustered around the stems, dark red haw berries gathered on short stalks on little twigs and bunches of orange-red rowan berries all add colour when the leaves have dropped. Even the hazy blue of sloes on blackthorn and ...
- Finding Fun in Fungi!At this time of year fungi start sending up their fruiting bodies, aka toadstools, in a kaleidoscope of colours and a myriad of shapes and sizes. The classic one we imagine is the Fly Agaric which is red with white spots but they can be purple, brown, yellow, orange and even green. Their names are equally ...