Nature Reserve:Cefn Cenarth Nature Reserveadd to shortlist

Nature Reserve, free entry




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 brassy coloured 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.

Open all the time


Free entry





Location and nearby places


Plan route to Cefn Cenarth Nature Reserve using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SN 966762  Lat: 52.37451 Long: -3.51958


The reserve is reached by taking the B4518 from Rhayader towards Pant-y-Dwr and Llanidloes. In the centre of Pant-y-Dwr there is a minor road to the west; take this road before leaving the village. Bear sharp left at the junction with a track and about one mile from Pant-y-Dwr there is a lay-by on the right with limited parking.

The entrance to the southern part of the reserve is a few hundred yards further along on the right. Continue on for another quarter of a mile and you will see a house on the corner of a sharp bend to the left. Turn right here onto the forestry track, passing the house and into the plantation area. You can park on the left and the nature reserve is on your right, where you can follow a nature trail and enjoy expansive views of the surrounding landscape.

NGR: SN 966 762

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 16 miles from Llandrindod station

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