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image for Forest or Woodland item typeHafren Forest at Hafren Forest (NRW)

Hafren Forest

Hafren Forest

Hafren Forest

Forest or Woodland, free entry

Details

Walk to the source of the River Severn - or choose from numerous walks including waterfalls.

Now spanning some 40 square kilometres of upland, commercial foresting commenced at Hafren in 1937 with the planting of pine and spruce trees in an area where once there were only sheep and a handful of deserted lead mine workings.

Though still very much a commercial enterprise producing timber for manufacture into pulp for news print, chipboard, pallets, fencing and the construction industry, the forty to fifty year felling cycle allows Natural Resources Wales to manage Hafren as a habitat for wildlife and for the quiet, relaxing enjoyment of visitors. Landscape design plans allow for vigorous growth of newly felled and planted areas, while special open riparian zones along the Severn and its tributaries, partially planted with broad leaved trees, help to ensure the continued health of the streams and make them an excellent habitat for a host of flora and fauna.

Mosses and grasses thrive on the river banks, with tormentil, marsh violets and bog asphodel raising their heads in the summer months. The forest is a haven for birds, with buzzards, goshawks and the rare red kite often to be seen overhead. Merlin and sparrowhawks inhabit the edges of the forest, whilst the blue flash of jays can often be seen deeper in amongst the trees. The seeds of the cones from the pine and aromatic spruce trees attract flocks of crossbills, which can be seen feeding high up in the tree tops. In the felled and newly planted areas of the forest, the young trees are an ideal habitat for the nightjar. In the numerous streams, dippers, frogs, toads and other amphibians abound, while the Severn and its tributaries contain nearly every native species of freshwater fish and are home to the spawning grounds of migratory salmon.

Natural Resources Wales have created a number of different trails along the Severn and through the towering pine and spruce trees. All four routes are circular and are focused around the picnic area and toilet facilities at Rhyd-y-benwch, just seven miles from Llanidloes. In addition, the numerous forestry tracks and roads are also excellent terrain for the cyclist.

Facilities include:
disabled parking for two cars
disabled toilets (open Easter to October)

Drections:

In Llanidloes town centre, face the Market Hall from Great Oak Street and take Short Bridge Street directly opposite. Follow the narrow road to Old Hall and then on to the Rhyd-y-benwch car park.

The Rhyd-y-benwch car park can also be reached from the northern end of Llyn Clywedog on minor roads.

Public Transport:

The nearest train station is in Caersws

The OS grdi refis SN 857 869

Coach parties acceptedDisabled accessDisabled toiletsPicnic sitePublic toiletsAccepts groups

Children welcomeDisabled accessDogs accepted

There is open access for horse riders throughout Hafren Forest. Please note: Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations. Occasionally we may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff. Please always follow any instructions onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place.

Open all the time

Prices

Free entry

Location

Directions

Plan route to Hafren Forest (NRW) using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SN 857869  Lat: 52.46850 Long: -3.68328

Directions:

By Road:

From Llanidloes town centre face the Market Hall from Great Oak Street and take Short Bridge Street directly opposite. Follow the narrow road to Old Hall.

The Rhydybenwch picnic site is 6 miles west of Llanidloes. It can also be reached from the northern end of Llyn Clywedog on minor roads.

OS Grid Reference: SN857869

Parking: free

Facilities

  • Coach parties acceptedCoach parties accepted
  • Disabled accessDisabled access
  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets
  • Picnic sitePicnic site
  • Public toiletsPublic toilets
  • Accepts groupsAccepts groups
  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Disabled accessDisabled access
  • Dogs acceptedDogs accepted

There is open access for horse riders throughout Hafren Forest. Please note: Sometimes we need to close or divert trails for your safety whilst we undertake maintenance work or forest operations. Occasionally we may have to close a site in extreme weather, such as high winds or snow and ice due to the risk of injury to visitors or staff. Please always follow any instructions onsite and make sure you follow any temporary diversion signs in place.

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