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
- 10 Iconic Species of the Brecon Beacons!There are so many species to choose from in the Brecon Beacons that could be classed as ‘iconic’. With the range of landscapes encompassed within the National Park there is a huge range of habitats from mountains and moorlands on Old Red Sandstone, Limestone crags and grasslands, wet marshes and bogs to woodlands and river corridors ...
- Pwll Y Wrach Nature Reserve is ready for spring!Our Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) Pwl Y Wrach Nature Reserve has seen a fair amount of work in the last couple of months! It is now ready for the flowers to bloom, the leaves to open on the trees and the wildlife, especially the birds, to return for the spring breeding season. Restoring ...
- Essential work at Pwll Y Wrach Nature Reserve!Essential work in Pwll Y Wrach Nature Reserve, near Talgarth Last year saw a substantial landslip block the easy access path at Pwll Y Wrach Nature Reserve after Storm Dennis. This meant that the path was closed for safety. In addition ash die back is also an issue here, particularly along the road. From 1st February to ...
- 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 ...