Coedydd Maentwrog is a beautiful, sprawling woodland, located on the northern side of the Vale of Ffestiniog. Designated as a National Nature Reserve, it is the largest woods in the Vale extending from the coast at Porthmadog inland to Blaenau Ffestiniog. The reserve comprises two separate sections of woodland; Coed Llyn Mair, and a collection of three adjoining forests known as Coed Tŷ Coch, Coed Bronturnor and Coed Glanrafon. Together, these form part of Coedydd Dyffryn Ffestiniog Gogleddol Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Prominently perched on the steep slopes of the valley, the reserve boasts a diverse range of habitats. Near the tumbling gorge, humid conditions support a complex mosaic of mosses, liverworts and ferns; almost two hundred species of liverwort alone have been recorded in the wood, as well as a huge variety of lichens, with records showing a staggering 170 species.
Moving away from the gorge, grasses such as the bents and fescues dominate the ground flora. The reserve is home to a rich diversity of bird life; typical woodland birds that breed here include Redstart, Wood Warbler, Nuthatch and Pied Flycatcher. Birds of prey include Goshawk, Sparrowhawk and Peregrine Falcons. Buzzards are a common spectacle, and occasionally Red Kites can be spotted. Also sighted, is the rare Lesser Horseshoe Bat.
The reserve features a nature trail, which runs some 400 metres though Coed Llyn Mair, and there is a good network of public footpaths. A small car park is situated on the right, at the entrance of Coed Llyn Mair, alongside the B4410 north of the A487, while there are also some parking spaces at Tan y Bwlch station, where you will find toilets, a café and viewpoint/picnic site.
|Coedydd Maentwrog is a particularly special wildlife area as it part of the Snowdonia Centre of Excellence. This is a is a £4 million project creating and developing the best outdoor adventure opportunities the sector can offer through four key sites.
These four outdoor activity centres include Antur Stiniog downhill mountain bike trails, Coed y Brenin mountain bike centre, Glan Llyn multi activity centre and Prysor Angling at Llyn Trawsfynydd. The project is nearing completion and some exciting developments have been happening at each of the four sites. Click here
to find out more.