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.
Nant Melin downloadable version of this leaflet for printing (109 KB)
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.