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. The woodland beyond contains a pond that is home to both common frogs and toads.
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
Species10 Spot ladybird, 14 spot ladybird, 2 Spot Ladybird, 24 spot ladybird, 7 Spot Ladybird, Abraxas grossulariata, Acleris emargana or effractana, Acrolepia autumnitella, Acronicta psi, Aethalura punctulata, Agonopteryx arenella, Agriphila tristella, Agrochola litura, Agromyza filipendulae, Agrostis exclamationis, Alabonia geoffrella, Alder, Amphipyra pyramidea, Angelica, Anthophila fabriciana, Anticlea derivata, Apamea monoglypha, Arctia caja, Argyresthia albistria, Argyresthia goedartella, Ash, Atethmia centrago, Athalia rosea, Autographa gamma, Azure Damselfly, Badger, Bank Vole, Barn swallow, Barren Strawberry, Batrachedra praeangusta, Beech, Bird Cherry, Bird's-foot-trefoil, Bittersweet, Black Bryony, Black Knapweed, Black Sexton Beetle, Black ant, Black headed gull, Black-kneed Capsid, Blackbird, Blackcap, Blackthorn, Blue Tit, Bluebell, Blushing bracket, Bog Stitchwort, Bombus lapidarius, Bombus pascuorum, Bombylius major, Box-headed Blood Bee, Bracken, Brittle Bladder Fern, Brown Cup, Bullace, Bullfinch, Burying beetle, Bush Vetch, Buzzard, Cabera exanthemata, Calliphora vomitoria, Calliteara pudibunda, Caloplaca flavescens, Caloplaca holocarpa agg, Canada Goose, Candle-snuff fungus, Carrion crow, Cauchas fibulella, Celypha lacunana, Cepaea bemoralis, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Chloromyia formosa, Chrysoteuchia culmella, Clepsis consimilata, Clouded Agaric, Coal Tit, Cocksfoot, Coleophora gryphipennella, Collared Dove, Collared Earthstar, Colocasia corylii, Colostygia pectinataria, Colotois pennaria, Coltsfoot, Comma, Common Blue Damselfly, Common Bonnet, Common Chickweed, Common Cleavers, Common Damsel, Common Dog Violet, Common Eyelash, Common Field Speedwell, Common Figwort, Common Flower Bug, Common Frog, Common Mouse Ear, Common Pipistrelle Bat, Common Toad, Common Vetch, Common Wasp worker, Conistra vaccini, Coriomeris denticulatus, Cormorant, Cosmia trapezina, Cow Parsley, Cowslip, Crack Willow, Crambis pascuella, Cramp ball, Creeping Buttercup, Creeping Thistle, Curlew, Cydia splendana, Deer Shield, Deraeocoris lutescens, Deraeocoris ruber, Diaphora mendica, Diarsia rubi, Dichrorampha petiverella, Dipper, Diurnea fagella, Dock Bug (shield-bug), Dog's Mercury, Dogwood, Drepana falcataria falcataria, Drinker moth, Dunnock, Dysstroma truncata truncata, Early-purple Orchid, Earophila badiata, Eilema griseola, Eilema lurideola, Elder, Enchanter's nightshade, English Oak, Ennomos fuscantaria, Enterographa crassa, Epiblema cirsiana or scutalana, Epirrhoe alternata, Episyrphus balteatus, Erannis defoliaria, Eristalis pertinax, Eristalis tenax, Esperia sulphurella, Eucosma cana, Eudonia lacustrata, Eudonia mercurella, Eulithis pyraliata, Eupithecia abbreviata, Eupithecia exiguata exiguata Eupithecia vulgata, Euproctis similis, Euthrix potatoria, Euzophera pinguis, Evancanthus interruptus, Evernia prunastri, False Oat-grass, Fenusa dorhrnii, Field Forget-me-not, Field Maple, Fieldfare, Forficula auriularia, Frog hopper, Fuscidea lightfootii, Garden warbler, Garlic Mustard, Germander Speedwell, Glyphipterix simpliciella, Goat Willow, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Goodens Nomad Bee, Goshawk, Gracillaria syringella, Graphis scripta, Grapholita lunalana, Graphopsocus cruciatus, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greater Stitchwort, Green Shield Bug, Green Woodpecker, Green-veined White, Grey Heron, Ground-ivy, Haematopota pluvialis, Hairy Bitter-cress, Hairy Bittercress, Harlequin Ladybird, Hart's-Tongue, Hawkweed Oxtongue, Hawthorn, Hazel, Hazel Woodwart, Hedge Woundwort, Hedya pruniana, Helophilus pendulus, Herb Robert, Herring gull, Hobby, Hogweed, Holly, Holly Blue, Honey Fungus, Honeysuckle, Hop Trefoil, Hoplodrina alsines, Hornet, House Martin, Hydraecia micacea, Hydriomena furcata, Idaea aversata, Idaea biselata, Idaea dimidata, Idaea trigeminata, Imperforate St Johns Wort, Ivy, Ivy Leaved Speedwell, Jackdaw, Jay, Jelly Ear, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Knapweed, Korscheltellus lupulina, Lampropteryx suffumata, Laophoe populi, Large White, Laspeysia flexula, Lathronympha strigana, Leafhopper, Lecanora Chlarotera, Lecanora conferta, Lecanora polytropa, Lecidella elaeochroma, Lepraria sp, Leptopterna dolobrata, Lesser Burdock, Lesser Celandine, Lesser Stitchwort, Lesser black-backed gull, Lilac bonnet, Limonia nubeculosa, Linnet, Liocoris tripustulatus, Liriomyza amoena, Lithobius crassipes, Lomaspilus marginata, Lomographa bimaculata, Lomographa termerata, Long-tailed Tit, Longhorn Beetle, Lords-and-Ladies, Luperina testacea, Lycia hirtaria, Macrophyla annulata, Magpie, Maidenhair Spleenwort, Male-fern, Mallard, Marsh Tit, Meadow Brown, Meadow Buttercup, Meadow Grasshopper, Meadow Vetchling, Meadowsweet, Melanelia exasperata, Melanelia fuliginosa, Melanostoma scalare, Mesapamea secalis, Metriotes lutarea, Microopteryx aruncella, Mirid Bug, Mistle thrush, Mompha propinquella, Mompha raschkiella, Moschatel, Musk Mallow, Nemapogon cloacella, Nematus (Pteronidae) miliaris, Nemophora degeerella, Neolygus viridus, Nettle, Nipplewort, Noctua janthe, Noctua pronuba, Noctule Bat, Nudaria mundana, Nuthatch, Ochrolechia parella, Oligia sp, Olindia schumacherana, Oniscus asellus, Opegrapha calcarea, Opisthograptis luteolata, Opposite Leaved Saxifage, Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage, Orange-tip, Orgyia antiqua, Orthosia cerasi, Orthosia gothica, Orthosia incerta, Ourapteryx sambucaraia, Palomina prasina, Pammene aurana, Pandemus heperana, Parmelia sulcata, Parmotrema perlatum, Peacock, Pedunculate Oak, Peregrine, Perforate St John's-wort, Perizoma alchemillata, Pertusaria leioplaca, Phalera bucephala, Pheasant, Philoscia muscorum, Phlogophora meticulosa, Phragmatobia fuliginosa, Phyllonorycter coryli, Phyllonorycter oxyacanthae, Physcia adscendens, Physcia aipolia, Phytomiza agromyzina, Phytomiza brunnipes, Phytomyza ilicis, Pignut, Pine Weevil, Plagodis dolabraira, Plagodis pulveraria, Pleuroptyra ruralis, Potato capsid, Prays fraxinella, Pseudagyrotoza conwagana, Psyllobora vigintuopunctata, Pterostoma palpina, Punctelia surudecta, Pygmy Shrew, Rabbit, Ramalina farinacea, Ramalina fastigiata, Raven, Red Campion, Red Clover, Red Fox, Red Kite Grey Wagtail, Red admiral, Red-legged Shieldbug, Redstart, Redwing, Remote Sedge, Rhagio scolopaceus, Rhingia campestris, Rhinoceros Beetle, Ribwort Plantain, Robin, Robin Merlin, Rock Dove, Rook, Rosebay Willowherb, Rowan, Rust Fungus, Sanicle, Scarlet Wax Cap, Schrankia costaestrigalis, Scotopteryx chenopodiata, Scots Pine, Selenia tetralunaria, Sericomyia silentis, Skylark, Sloe Shield Bug, Small Copper, Small Stagshorn, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Snapping Bonnet, Soft Brome, Soft Shield Fern, Soldier Beetle, Song Thrush, Southern Hawker, Sparrowhawk, Speckled Wood, Spilosoma lubricipeda, Spilosoma lutea, Spotted Flycatcher, Squirrel, Starling, Stigmella anomalella, Stigmella aurella, Stigmella microtheriella, Stigmella nylandriella, Stigmella plagicolella, Stigmella sorbi, Stigmella tityrella, Stinking Dapperling, Stock Dove, Sulphur tuft, Sweet Vernall Grass, Swift, Sycamore, Syritta pipiens, Syrphus ribesii, Tawny Mining Bee, Tawny Owl, Tenthredo livida, Tephritis bardanea, Thale Grass, Tholera decimalis, Three Vein Sandwort, Thyme Leaved Sandwort, Timandra comae, Tipula maxima, Tipula paladosa, Tree Bumblebee, Tree hopper, Treecreeper, Trichopteryx carpinata, Tufted Hair-grass, Tufted Vetch, Turkey Tail, Twayblade, Udea lutealis, Vine Weevil, Volucella pellucens, Wall Rue, Wall Speedwell, Wasp Beetle, Watsonalla binaria, Weasel, Welsh Chafer, Western Honey bee, White Collar Seed Beetle, Wild Basil, Willow Warbler, Witches Butter, Wood Avens, Wood Blewit, Wood Dock, Wood False-brome, Wood Mouse, Wood Pigeon, Wood Speedwell, Woodcock, Woodpigeon, Wren, Wrinkled Peach, Wych Elm, Xanthorhoe ferrugata, Xanthorhoe montanata, Xanthoria parietina, Xestia sexstrigata, Xyluta segnis, Yarrow, Yellow Archangel, Yellow Meadow Ant, Yellow-tail moth, Yew, Yorkshire-fog, Yponomeuta evonymella, Zigzag Clover, little egret
Local Warden’s Blog
- Y Byddwn Nature Reserve Aside from working on Y Byddwn, a local Farmer has allowed me to coppice very tall and shade forming hazel along a 200 metre stretch of his dismantled rail track that runs towards the road near Groesffordd. In a sense by allowing more light into this area this has extended the reserves potential for increased ...
- Successful nest box results on reserves in Brecknock In grateful recognition of a legacy donated to Brecknock Wildlife Trust (before it merged with WTSWW), Trust staff and volunteers wished to strengthen the provision of bird nest-boxes on two woodland reserves near Brecon. These are Coed Dyrysiog (Soar), a predominantly oak woodland on a sloping bank of the River Bran, and Drostre Wood (Llanwern) an ...
- Y Byddwn Nature Reserve I took over management of Y Byddwn Nature Reserve in October 2016 and being a small reserve, hardly larger then 4 tennis courts, I immediately set about identifying the flora and fauna, mostly fauna via photography throughout most of 2017. The photographs were then posted on the local Biodiversity Information Services (BIS) or the national ‘irecord’ ...