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image for Nature Reserve item typeRhayader Tunnel Nature Reserve

Nature Reserve, free entry

Details

A former railway line and tunnel with young woodland and remnants of flower rich grassland. A long narrow reserve with a path leading straight through to the Elan Valley.

The grassy banks of the old railway tunnel are home to wood bitter-vetch, great burnet, broad-leaved helleborine, prickly sedge, betony and harebell. Rare lichens include Abrothallus bertianus and Arthonia clemens with some rare and unusual woodlice having been seen here over the years.

The old railway tunnel is now a bat hibernaculum with five species recorded; the lesser horseshoe, Daubenton's, Natterer's, brown long-eared and whiskered. The cave spider Meta menardi suspends its teardrop shaped egg-sac upon a silken thread from the ceiling of the tunnel.

Birds include finches in the winter attracted to the thistle seed-heads. Chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, brambling and siskin may all be found, as well as occasional tree sparrows. Linnet and tawny owl are known to breed her with grey wagtails often found in the cutting. Overhead, raven, buzzard and red kite are often seen.

Children welcomeDisabled access

Open all the time

Prices

Free entry

Address

Rhayader,
Powys,
LD6 5HH

Location

Directions

Plan route to Rhayader Tunnel Nature Reserve using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: SN 963673  Lat: 52.29447 Long: -3.52122

The best way to access Rhayader Tunnel is on the Elan Valley Trail which runs through the middle of the reserve. It starts on the western edge of Rhayader. Take the road signposted to the Elan Valley (B4518), and find the Trail car park on the edge of town, just before the turning to Aberystwyth Mountain Road on the right. Walk or cycle up the gentle hill on the Trail for about 100m and then you will enter the reserve.
NGR: SN 963 673

Parking: free

Accessible by Public Transport: 12 miles from Llandrindod Wells station

Facilities

  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Disabled accessDisabled access