Cwm Clydach National Nature Reserve

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For the Cwm Clydach reserve near Swansea, administered by the RSPB see Cwm Clydach RSPB Reserve.

Cwm Clydach National Nature Reserve is a 24.8 hectares (61 acres) area of steeply sloping valley-side on Clydach Gorge, 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Brynmawr, southeast Wales. It is protected for its ancient semi-natural beech woods, designated by the Nature Conservancy Council (now its successor authority Natural Resources Wales).[citation needed]

The reserve is a part of the Cwm Clydach site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and of the Cwm Clydach Woodlands/Coedydd Cwm Clydach special area of conservation (SAC).[1]

There is good public access to much of the reserve through a network of public footpaths, a section of the national cycleway and by public roads. Interpretive panels at access points to the reserve provide maps of the reserve and information.[citation needed]


The dense foliage of the beech canopy results in a rather minimal ground flora but species like bird's nest orchid are found amongst the leaf litter. The high humidity of the more sheltered parts of the gorge encourage the growth of ferns, mosses and other lower plants including the lichen, Stricta sylvatica and the hay-scented buckler fern.


Woodland birds in the reserve include nuthatch and both the green woodpecker and greater spotted woodpecker. Birds of prey include sparrowhawk, kestrel and tawny owl.


  1. ^ "Countryside Council in Wales". Archived from the original on 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2012-05-01. 

Coordinates: 51°48′22″N 3°08′10″W / 51.806°N 3.136°W / 51.806; -3.136