Teifi Marsh is without doubt one of the best wetland
reserves in Wales. It's also one of the places in the UK to enjoy a close encounter
with the resident Water Buffalo.
Marshes - Water Buffalo. |
Photo -Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and
huge Teifi Marshes reserve at Cilgerran extends over some 100 hectares.
great thing about Teifi is the sheer range of flora and fauna, from Water Buffalo
and waders to wetland plants and woodland birds.
The reserve is located
on the floor of a pre-glacial channel which was left by the original course of
the River Teifi.
This channel is now occupied by the River Piliau, which
meanders through the marshes in a deep, narrow cut.
There are a wide range
of habitats, hence the diversity of wildlife, from pasture and wooded hedgerows
to freshwater marsh and reedbeds to tidal mudbanks.
the Buffalo roam
is also home to a surprising creature - the Water Buffalo.
The animal is
doing its bit for wetland conservation, simply be grazing the marshes in a way
that prevents the habitat becoming overgrown.
Asian Water Buffalo are great
grazers - their horns help to break up unwanted scrub with the result that they
keep the marshland as fen and swamp.
These animals are happy to graze on
everything, even in watery areas which require them to submerge themselves below
By contrast, cows and sheep are picky eaters who avoid the wetter
areas so the Water Buffalo have proved to be the ideal solution to maintaining
the wetland's eco-system.
Wetlands are increasingly being lost to development
and land drainage so the Water Buffalo are helping to keep one of our most threatened
habitats in top condition.
Birds, Bugs and Badgers
Teifi reserve is also home to a large number of birds such as Sedge Warblers,
Reed Warblers, Cetti's Warblers, Kingfishers, Marsh Harriers and even Red Kites.
even the chance of spotting an Otter, although these elusive creatures are most
likely to appear early morning or evening.
If you can't see one on the reserve,
you might stand a better chance of catching this creature on CCTV courtesy of
a micro-camera link-up to a holt.
Another shy creature which tend to come
out at dusk is the Badger which can sometimes be glimpsed at Teifi.
reserve is also alive with insects during the summer months, including 17 different
species of Dragonfly.
stunning Welsh Wildlife Centre stands on the banks of the River Teifi and overlooks
The building won an award for architectural design in 1993
when it opened, and still astonishes the visiting public today.
It is built
mainly of wood and glass and enjoys panoramic views over the Teifi River, the
town of Cardigan and nearby woodland.
Other wildlife to look out for during
a trip to the reserve around the centre are Water Voles and Sika Deer.
photographs copyright and courtesy of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales
and Mike Snow.
Kingfisher copyright and courtesy
of RSPB Images.
Water Vole copyright of PA