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Nature Reserve:Cors Caron Nature Reserve (NRW)

Nature Reserve, free entry


12,000 years ago mid-Wales was in the grip of the last Ice Age. As the climate warmed, the glaciers receded and a large shallow lake occupied this valley. A huge reed bed and woodland developed, but the climate became cooler and wetter, allowing the sphagnum mosses to invade and begin the process of building three raised bogs.

For centuries, the peat was cut by local people and burnt as fuel. Today, Cors Caron is one of the finest raised bog systems in Britain. At first sight, acres of rather dull looking peat bog! But in reality this is rather a special place - special enough for its 2000 acres to be declared a National Nature Reserve.

From the track you can see that parts of the bog surface are slightly domed. This is the result of accumulation of plant material, particularly species of bog moss (Sphagnum) since the valley floor was levelled by glaciers of the last Ice Age. These raised areas now receive all their water from rain, and have become very acid with a characteristic flora of heather, cross-leaved heath and cotton grasses. The last, with their distinctive white fluffy "flowers" are strictly sedges rather than grasses, distinguished by their triangular stems. The white beaked sedge grows through the sphagnum in the hollows on top of the domes. This sedge is the main food of the large heath butterfly. Around the domes is a zone of less acid ground where the vegetation includes the stiffly erect stalks of yellow-flowered bog asphodel, and the tall creamy clouds of meadowsweet in late summer.

In the summer there is a good array of breeding wetland birds but they tend to be inconspicuous, none more than the skulking water rail. Many more birds come in during the winter including a flock of whooper swans which are less likely to be overlooked. A number of plants that adapt to the acidic conditions of raised bogs can be found, such as sun-dews, bog rosemary and cotton grasses. The red kite is often seen hovering above the reserve.

ACCESS : Open to all on the walk along the Old Railway, which is suitable for wheelchairs. Allow at least two hours to walk all the Old Railway Track and back from the car park.

The fully accessible circular boardwalk route runs for 1.1 miles/1.7 km over the south-east bog. Access is 450 metres from the main car park along a fully accessible path (the total distance of the return route is 1.6 miles/2.6 kilometres). The route goes past the entrance to an observation building where you can enjoy a peaceful view of the reserve and its wildlife. There are passing and resting places along the way.

There is some seating along the boardwalk and in the observation building.
Observation tower. Riverside trail by permit. Educational facilities by permit.

Disabled toilets

Open all the time


Free entry

Also at this Venue


SY25 6JF


Plan route to Cors Caron Nature Reserve (NRW) using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SN 694630  Lat: 52.24964 Long: -3.91374

By Car:
The reserve is situated just to the north of Tregaron, between Lampeter and Aberystwyth. The main access to the reserve is from the new car park on the B4343.

There is also access from:
The lay by car park at Ty Coed on the B4343
Ystrad Meurig Station Yard on the B4340
The lay by car park north of Maesllyn Farm

By Bus
Two infrequent local buses pass Cors Caron NNR - the T21 and T29. Other buses serve Tregaron, which is three kilometres from the Cors Caron car park.

Cyclists & Walkers
Cyclists and walkers can use the Ystwyth Trail, which now occupies the disused railway line from Aberystwyth to Cors Caron

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 14 miles from Aberystwyth station


  • Disabled toiletsDisabled toilets