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Elan Valley

This huge reserve in mid Wales near Rhayader has a multitude of habitats perfect for a range of wildlife.

Seventy square miles of the countryside forms the reserve, which is owned by Dwr Cymru Welsh Water. Part of the reserve forms an area of special scientific interest.

With reservoirs, farmland, woodland, forest and hills, it's no surprise that 180 species of birds have been recorded with 80 species breeding regularly. Out of these, seven are classified by the RSPB and British Trust for Ornithology as among the rarest in Britain.

Some of the interesting species of birds to be seen at Elan Valley include the merlin, lesser spotted woodpecker, goshawk, peregrine falcon, red kite, siskin, dunlin, golden plover and crossbill.

A multitude of mammals as well as birds call Elan Valley home. Stoats, otters, polecats, weasels, woodmice, voles and bats have all been regularly recorded.

For flora and fungi fans, over 300 species of flowering plants are present, as are lichens, mosses, liverworts and ferns.


Elan Valley Visitor Centre
Elan Valley

BBC Local

Upper Ddwli waterfall. Photo: Peter Thomas

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