Reserve Information


Turn off the B4599 onto Hendreladus, Ystradgynlais. Go through the kissing gate by Ystradgynlais youth and Community Centre and follow Sustrans route 43 for quarter of a mile. The reserve is in front and to your right. Alternatively access the southern side via Weavers Road, off Station Road, Ystradgynlais.

Nearest town Ystradgynlais. Post code SA9 1SE.

SN 796 108


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Public Transport

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Opening Times



40.9 hectares

Walking Information

The reserve is an open access reserve, you are allowed to visit the reserve on foot for your quiet enjoyment of the wildlife present. There are no formal paths and areas can be wet at all times of the year. A small river runs through the site. Please visit the site with care.


The Sustrans route 43 cycle path provides wheelchair access through the site.

Geology Trail


Please park carefully in Weavers Road, Ystradgynlais, taking care not to block the road or property entrances.


Please keep dogs on a lead to prevent disturbing ground nesting birds.

Grazing Animals

There may be cattle or ponies on site, please do not approach them or feed them. Additionally there may be electric fencing to keep them off parts of the site, please cross this with care.

Factsheets and Guides for Your Visit

Ystradfawr reserve with view of a wild meadow

This reserve, once the site of extensive coal mining, is a great example of how nature has reclaimed the landscape. It is a rich mix of wildlflower meadow, rhos pasture and young woodland. It is one of the best sites in Wales for the rare marsh fritillary butterfly.

Ystradfawr villas entrance

Look out for marsh fritillary butterflies

What to look out for

Marsh fritillary adults flying in June, the caterpillars feeding on devil’s bit scabious in August and in mollinia tussocks in September within their larval webs. The spring and summer wildflower displays are stunning. The rhos pasture has purple flowering devil’s bit scabious in summer. The species rich wildflower meadows have magnificent displays of ragged robin and angelica. Grass-snakes, slow-worms and common lizard can be seen basking in the sunshine. The wet woodland is inhabited by many woodland birds. It is a good site to hear the well known call of the visiting cuckoo.

Marsh fritillary larval web

Species and habitats

Brownfield, Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland, Ponds, Rhos Pasture, Rivers and Streams
Backswimmer, Bittersweet, Black Darter, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Bramble, Broad-bodied Chaser, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Clouded Yellow, Coal Tit, Common Frog, Common Lizard, Common Toad, Cuckoo, Daisy, Devil's-bit Scabious, Enchanter's nightshade, English / Pedunculate Oak, Goldcrest, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Gorse, Grass Snake, Great Burnet, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Green-veined White, Grey Wagtail, Harvest Mouse, Hawthorn, Hazel, Heather, Holly, Ivy, Knapweed, Lady-fern, Large Red Damselfly, Large Skipper, Lesser Redpoll, Long-tailed Tit, Male-fern, Meadow Pipit, Migrant Hawker, Nuthatch, Orange-tip, Ragged-Robin, Red Clover, Ringlet, Robin, Rowan, Sand Sedge, Silver Birch, Siskin, Slow Worm, Soft-rush, Sorrel, Southern Hawker, Stinging Nettle, Stonefly, Sweet Vernal-grass, Tormentil, White Clover, Wild Angelica, Woodcock, Yorkshire-fog

Nature Reserve Map