Cwm Clydach Nature Reserve, Clydach

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This woodland reserve is located along the south side of a deep limestone gorge cut by the River Clydach. Beech trees cling to the side of the gorge, lying at the edge of their natural range in Britain.The gorge is clothed with some of the most westerly native beech trees in Britain, which flourish on the stony shallow soil of the reserve.

As with all beech woods little light penetrates the dense foliage, so ground flora is scarce. However, specialist plants, such as the unusual bird’s nest orchid, can be found growing amongst the leaf litter.

Nearer the river, the humid conditions allow a more lush vegetation to flourish, including several species of ferns and mosses.

The reserve lies on the A465, between the villages of Clydach and Llanelly Hill. There are no car parking facilities although there is an official lay-by on the main road with several unofficial lay-bys along the minor roads to the south of the reserve.

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