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Rhayader Tunnel

A former railway line and tunnel with young woodland and remnants of flower rich grassland.

A long narrow reserve with a path leading straight through to the Elan Valley.

The grassy banks of the old railway tunnel are home to wood bitter-vetch, great burnet, broad-leaved helleborine, prickly sedge, betony and harebell.  Rare lichens include Abrothallus bertianus and Arthonia clemens with some rare and unusual woodlice having been seen here over the years.

The old railway tunnel is now a bat hibernaculum with five species recorded; the lesser horseshoe, Daubenton's, Natterer's, brown long-eared and whiskered.  The cave spider Meta menardi suspends its teardrop shaped egg-sac upon a silken thread from the ceiling of the tunnel.

Birds include finches in the winter attracted to the thistle seed-heads. Chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, brambling and siskin may all be found, as well as occasional tree sparrows.  Linnet and tawny owl are known to breed her with grey wagtails often found in the cutting. Overhead, raven, buzzard and red kite are often seen.

Nearby nature reserves

3 miles - Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
Cefn Cenarth
6 miles - Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
Abercamlo Bog
7 miles - Radnorshire Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

On the Elan Valley cycle trail, near Cwmdauddwr
Map reference
SN 963 673
Best time to visit
May - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
2.00 hectares
There is no access to the railway tunnel. An easy access tarmac cycle path.
Walking information
An easy access tarmac cycle path.
Park in Trail car park on the edge of town
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Radnorshire Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01597 823298


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