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Cefn Cenarth

Two areas of upland sessile oak woodland connected by a recently felled conifer plantation now replanted with native broadleaved species. An important place for mosses and lichens.

The northern part of the reserve was purchased by the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust in 1973, the wood is part of a much larger block of woodland typical of the uplands of this part of mid-Wales. Though shown on the 1939 tithe map of St. Harmon it is clear that large sections have been clear-felled during the first and second World Wars. In 1982, the southern part was purchased and in 2004 the middle section called Cwm-yr-Ychen was purchased linking up the acid sessile oak woodland nature reserve.


Sessile oak dominates the reserve with rowan a common species. Bilberry, wavy hair-grass and cow-wheat are frequent in the field layer and in the ground layer, the moss Rhytidiadelphus loreus. Lichens include the nationally scarce Biatora chrysantha (the sole Radnorshire site), Bryoria subcana, Usnea glabrescens and Pertusaria opthalmiza (one of 2 Welsh sites). Lichens include Pertusaria multipuncta, and Sphaerophorus globosus, also the moss Bartramia pomiformis are found here. Breeding birds (34 species) include pied flycatcher, wood warbler, redstart, spotted flycatcher, three species of woodpecker, tawny owl, coal tit, nuthatch, treecreeper, song thrush and mistle thrush. Visitors include sparrowhawk, buzzard, raven and cuckoo. The cow-wheat shield bug Sehrius bigutatus and brassycoloured ground beetle Calosoma inquisitor are found along with the oak feeding longhorn beetle Leiopus nebulosus. The green oak tortrix moth Tortrix viridaria is common, its caterpillars providing an important source of food for birds in the spring. Galls are frequently encountered including common spangle gall, silk button gall, and oak apple gall.

Nearby nature reserves

3 miles - Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
Rhayader Tunnel
6 miles - Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
Llandinam Gravels
8 miles - Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

0.6 miles north west of Pant-y-dwr village on a minor road
Map reference
SN 967 763
Best time to visit
May - Jul
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Opening Times
Open at all times
17.90 hectares
A circular waymarked trail is at the north end of the reserve. The path is steep and rough. Contact the Trust for disabled access information
Walking information
A circular waymarked trail at the north end of the reserve. The path is steep and rough.
An old quarry area to the right of the forestry track provides parking for several vehicles.
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01597 823298


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