Llyn Mawr Nature Reserve

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The name 'Llyn Mawr' means 'big lake' in Welsh and it's this upland lake which forms the centrepiece of the Llyn Mawr Nature Reserve. The clear, unpolluted water supports a range of aquatic plants, such as Bogbean and Yellow Water-lily and even Quillwort, a rare plant in Montgomeryshire. The large expanse of open water provides the perfect refuge for water birds, such as Tufted Duck and the occasional winter visiting Whooper Swan.

Llyn Mawr is one of three lakes within a Site of Special Scientific Interest, high up on the moorland plateau above the Carno Valley. The reserve comprises the 7.7ha (19 acre) lake itself and a narrow margin of surrounding land adding a further 4.4ha (11 acres).

It is an important site for wildlife conservation of aquatic plants and of bird life in both summer and winter. Visits by the public are welcome but please keep to the southern shore and do not attempt to walk right around the lake. The lake is described as mesotrophic - having a moderate amount of nutrient in the water, derived from the surrounding moorland. It therefore has a relatively rich growth of plants and a correspondingly large number of animals.

Access is limited to one small area of the lakeshore. Short area of boardwalk, other ground can be wet, muddy & uneven. In the winter the lake is a popular roost with a number of waterfowl. Ducks such as pochard, wigeon, goldeneye, and the fish-eating goosander come here along with whooper swans - migrants coming south to escape the Arctic winter.

There is an extensive network of bridleways that give access over the moorland and rough grazing of Mynydd Cerrigllwydian, one of which passes Llyntarw, another of the trio of Caersws lakes. This is good curlew country as well as offering hunting grounds for birds of prey including buzzard, kestrel and occasionally merlin and hen-harrier.

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  • Free Parking

Map & Directions

Road Directions

Turn north off the A470 about 2.5 miles west of Caersws up the lane to Bwlch y Garreg. Follow the lane up - and up, almost as far as it goes. The lake and a bungalow appear on the left. Park on the roadside verge just before the bungalow. There is a stile and notice to an approach track.


Public Transport Directions

Accessible by Public Transport: Caersws station is 4 miles away.

Llyn Mawr Nature Reserve

Type:Nature Reserve

Caersws, Powys, SY17 5NE

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Tel01938 555654

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