If you're looking for a bit of summer serenity and
the very best in Welsh wildlife, Gilfach Nature Reserve is just the place. The
Reserve is set in the heart of the Marteg Valley in the Cambrian Mountains, about
four miles north of Rhayader.
archetypical Welsh hill farm landscape at Gilfach|
Situated in a beautiful setting at the confluence of the Marteg River with the
River Wye in the Cambrian Mountains of Mid Wales, Gilfach is locally unique because
of its wide variety of habitats.
These range from high moorland and enclosed
meadow to oak woodland and rocky upland river.
farm supports a tremendous abundance of birds and animals within a comparatively
This richness of wildlife has adapted to living in the various
habitats created over the centuries through the practice of traditional farming.
The wide range of wildlife includes birds, small mammals such as Badgers,
amphibians including Toads, and reptiles such as Grass Snakes.
for the distinctive mounds of ant hills in the meadows which have never been ploughed.
Radnorshire Wildlife Trust, which manages the reserve, offers guided walks and
It is a lovely place to go for a walk, with a network
of sign posted walking trails, some of which are suitable for wheelchairs or buggies.
80 hectares site has its fair share of birds - look out in particular for glimpses
of the Dipper, the Pied Flycatcher and the Red Kite.
You can take a closer
look inside some of the nest boxes via closed circuit television which is relayed
to a television monitor in the reserve's Visitor Centre.
footage too of the area's Badgers - but if you want to see the real thing, sign
up for one of the reserve's evening Badger-watching sessions.
As well as
providing a haven for local wildlife, the reserve has also preserved a piece of
Welsh built heritage.
buying the old Gilfach Farm in the 1980s, Trust members have renovated its medieval
longhouse, a traditional Welsh farm building which was used to house both people
The farmyard, with its Welsh longhouse, is central to the
The longhouse is a traditional building in Wales, developed over
many centuries from a wooden cruck-framed medieval hall.
The Gilfach Longhouse
forms the perfect complement to the Education and Visitor Centre which has been
created through the conversion of the 18th Century stone barn opposite.
the nest boxes
Centre utilises a 'high-tech' approach to the interpretation of the wildlife of
Nest-boxes fitted with cameras link to a monitor system in
the centre, as does pre-recorded footage of Gilfach's badger and other mammal
A gift shop and restaurant area, in addition to other picnic
sites, complete the facilities which are accessible to wheelchairs.
is a Nature Discovery Centre on the site with displays and activities for all
ages and children's events are held throughout the year.
Images of flora, fauna and
location courtesy and copyright of Jonathan Stone, James Blair and Radnorshire