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Dolydd Hafren

A Balancing Act

Map of Dolydd Hafren Nature Reserve

The forces of nature are very obvious at Dolydd Hafren. On one side are the plants and animals trying to keep their roots in the ground and a roof over their head and on the other is the River Severn that, at times, causes complete chaos! Erosion caused by tremendous surges of water after heavy rain means that habitats are frequently destroyed, but on the flip side, this is exactly when new habitats are also created.

The great diversity of habitats on this natural floodplain provides for a wealth of wildlife from the rare, inconspicuous Mudwort to the frequently spotted Brown Hare; and if birds are your thing, then Dolydd Hafren is hard to beat!

Some species already seen in 2012: Bittern, Black-tailed Godwit, Bean Goose (county first!), Woodcock, Lapwing, Curlew, Dunlin, Little Egret, Mediterranean Gull, Pintail, Merlin, Tree Sparrow, Brambling.

Best time to visit
With such a diversity of species, there is plenty of see at Dolydd Hafren all year round. Migration season in Spring and Autumn can be the most exciting time; you never know what you might see! It could be a beautiful Barn Owl, like this one recorded by the BBC on this very reserve.

For up to the minute bird sightings at Dolydd Hafren, look no further than the Montgomery Bird Blog.

Seasonal checklist

Brown HareKingfisherTree SparrowTeal
OtterSand MartinLittle EgretWigeon
Little Ringed PloverHobbyStock Dove Yellowhammer
Reed BuntingWhite-legged DamselflyWater RailStarling
Common ToadFlowering RushClouded YellowCurlew

Visiting Dolydd Hafren: The reserve is open year round, 24 hours a day and there is no charge for entry.

Although nearly all the paths are flat, they can be uneven, wet & muddy in places.

Please note that the first field from the car park does not belong to the Trust; although we do have foot access across it, the field has been recently ploughed and consequently has a much smaller margin to walk on than previously. The next volunteer work party will tackle Blackthorn debris which has been left on this path. In the meantime, please take care when crossing this field to the reserve.

There are two elevated bird hides accessed via wooden steps. Sorry, the reserve is not accessible to wheelchair users.

Well-behaved dog owners are welcome - remember, your dog doesn't know that it is a nature reserve, so please help us retain this privilege by keeping him on a lead and clearing up any mess.

Directions & transport: Dolydd Hafren is approximately one mile west of Forden. Take the Forden village turn off the B4388. Go through the village and continue for approximately 1.5 miles. On a sharp left hand bend, turn right (in front of Gaer Farm). Follow the track all the way to the reserve car park (approx. 1000 yards).

Please note that the track is very rough in places and is therefore difficult to access without a 4x4.

The nearest bus stop is in Forden village and it is possible to access the reserve via public rights of way.
The nearest rail station is in Welshpool.

Dolydd Hafren snow

Additional information

Grid reference:SJ201000
Postcode:Near to SY21 8NR
Size:41 hectares
Type:floodplain grassland, scrub, wet woodland, open water, arable, species-rich hedgerows
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Protecting Wildlife for the Future