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.
This wildflower meadow has always been managed traditionally with grazing by cattle or ponies from spring to autumn. This kind of rough, damp grassland is known in Wales as Rhos pasture and is becoming rare. Please keep dogs on a lead as skylarks often nest within the rough grass.
Grid References O.S. Explorer map 187 Llandovery. Main entrance: SN729466, Site centre: SN728467
Status The reserve forms part of the Cwm Doethie-Mynydd Mallaen Oakwoods Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
Tenure The site was leased from 1969 by the Trust and subsequently purchased in 1973.
Ancient upland Oak woodland and waterfalls.
The reserve is made up of 2.4 ha of deciduous woodland and about 0.5 ha of rough pasture in the upper Tywi catchment. The woodland lies on the steep Nant Melin valley side, the wet pasture above lying on a much gentler slope.
The Nant Melin stream forms the eastern boundary flowing over a series of small but impressive waterfalls. Above the fence at the western end, the slope lessens, and the habitat changes to pasture, while a small stream marks the northern boundary, with two small fields beyond. Several wet flushes arise in these fields, and flow down to meet other springs which emerge in the woodland.