image for Forest or Woodland item typeHafren Forest

Hafren Forest

Hafren Forest

Hafren Forest

    Forest or Woodland, free entry


    Walk to the source of the River Severn - or choose from numberous 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 Foresty Commission 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.

    The Forestry Commission 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.

    Coach parties acceptedDisabled accessDisabled toiletsPicnic sitePublic toiletsAccepts groups

    Children welcomeDisabled accessDogs accepted

    Open access for horse riders throughout Hafren

    Open all the time


    Free entry



    Plan route to Hafren Forest using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

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

    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


    • 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

    Open access for horse riders throughout Hafren

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