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.You can download a list of the species identified as of 2018.
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
- An update from Brecknock Brecon Local Group mailing list achieves 100 subscribers! The Brecon Local Group achieved 100 subscribers in early January and continues to grow. A steady trickle has signed up via the link on the website page and through the meetings. The talks have continued to attract 30 to 40 people from as far afield as Ystradgynlais and ...
- Winter Bird Watch in Brecknock 40 hardy people braved the wet weather to attend the Winter Bird Watch at Llangorse Lake. This annual event is a well established Brecknock favourite. Volunteer experts Andrew King and Keith Noble have lead groups from Ty Mawr to the water’s edge and along to the Llangasty Bird Hide for many years. Visibility wasn’t great this ...
- Trees Down in Brecknock The stormy weather before Christmas brought down a few trees on our reserves. This has kept Steph our Wildlife Trust Officer busy clearing paths. On Ystradfawr a tree blocked the path from Station Road. It was also covered with ivy which made it harder to negotiate. Lorna and Steph spent a morning tackling this then went ...
- 25 bee species identified on Allt Rhongyr! During this summer, bee expert Janice Vincett, carried out a survey of aculeate (stinging insect) species of Allt Rhongyr. The aim of the survey was to identify the diversity of aculeate and other pollinator species present. Allt Rhongyr has rich ground flora and consists of lowland acid grass lands, upland calcareous grasslands and upland ash woodland. ...
- Summer at Y Byddwn July and August at Y Byddwn revolved mostly around family parties of birds although the highlight on August 20th involved a moth trapping evening with 8 traps set up and 6 members in attendance. On July 6th my only day of July at the reserve I recorded 32 bird species and there were young of robin, ...
- June at Y Byddwn Despite many May and early June days being breezy and often with chilly nights, there were a lot of successes form the birds on the reserve. Of the 5 nest boxes, one was not used, the great tit failed but 2 families of blue tit fledged while the pied flycatcher also fledged with 7 young. ...