Llangloffan Fen – open for business August 2011

The Wildlife Trust owned section of Llangloffan Fen National Nature Reserve is now open to the public after two years of hard work by the Wildlife Trust and volunteers.  The reserve is on a flood-plain close to the source of the Western Cleddau River, about 60metres above sea-level and until now it has been virtually impossible to walk through.

New Boardwalk at Llangloffan Fen Photo by Gareth Davies

New Boardwalk at Llangloffan Fen Photo by Gareth Davies

A new board-walk now winds through the willow and tussock grass allowing access for the Wildlife Trust to manage the reserve, and for visitors to get to the recently installed bird-hide.

The hide overlooks a new area of open water and the lakes and pools at the site provide a good habitat for Water Rail, wading birds, frogs and newts.  Birds such as corncrake, quail and spotted crake have been spotted in the eastern section of the reserve and barn owls and hen harriers are regularly seen hunting over it.  There’s always something to see at the reserve as, in winter, the pools attract a selection of migrant wildfowl.

Damselfly Photo by L Maiden

Damselfly Photo by L Maiden

The 41-acre site is made up of some very important habitats, including wet heath and fen meadow.  It is home to a number of notable species such as otter and the reserve is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.  The fen meadows are dominated by tussocks of greater tussock-sedge that are two-metres high in places and, like islands in the surrounding wet-land, they provide a safe home for birds such as grasshopper warblers.

The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales was supported to improve public access to this site by PLANED through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007 – 2013 which is funded by the Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

The reserve was officially opened to the public by  Sarah Kessell, Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales who thanked Merrill Mabey and Sarah Gerlach from PLANED and the Mid-Pembrokeshire Wildlife Trust members for supporting the improvements at the Fen, near Castlemorris.

To celebrate the opening Nathan Walton of the Wildlife Trust and Chris Lawrence from the Countryside Council for Wales led a guided walk around the reserve.  Nathan explained ‘in summer the river-side is bright yellow with flag iris and the area attracts beautiful demoiselles, dragonflies and damselflies.  The river supports otters and other features of the ‘Cleddau Rivers Special Area of Conservation’ such as Bullhead, River Lamprey, and Brook Lamprey been recorded here’.