Good places to see dragonflies in Wales - Powys

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Powys Sites

 

1 - Pwll Penarth Nature Reserve (Powys)

 

2 - Severn Farm Pond (Powys)

 

3 - Cors Dyfi (Powys)

 

4 - Dolydd Hafren (Powys)

 

5 - Lake Vyrnwy (Powys)

 

6 - Mynydd Illtyd Common, Breconshire (Powys)

 

7 - Brechfa Pool Nature Reserve and SSSI (Powys)

 

8 - Llangorse Lake (Powys)

 

42 – Beacon Hill Pools & Headwaters of the Lugg (Powys)

 

43 – Begwns Fishpool or Monk’s Pond (Powys)

 

44 – Cors y Llyn NNR (Powys)

 

45 – Llyn Gwyn, Nant Glas (Powys)

 

46 – Maelienydd Pools (Powys)

 

47 – Nannerth Pools (Powys)

 

48 (a & b) – a) Llandrindod Lake & b) Pentrosfa Mire (Powys)

 

49 - River Wye from Erwood Station via Boughrood, Glasbury & Llowes to Hay (Powys)

 

 

1 - Pwll Penarth Nature Reserve (Powys)

Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
Photo credit: Montgomeryshire Wildlife TrustPwll Penarth
This reserve once used to be part of a sewage works but was converted into a nature reserve by Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust and the Environment Agency in 1996.  It is great for birds and dragonflies.
 
 
The reserve is open all year round and entry is free.  The paths are suitable for wheelchairs but please contact the wildlife trust before you visit.    To get to the reserve take the B4568 from Newtown to Llanllwchaiarn, turn right by the church and park in the small car park which is down the track to the right of the sewage works gate.   You can then follow the footpath to the reserve entrance. 
 
 
Grid reference: SO 139 927.  Nearest postcode:  SY16 3BA.

2 - Severn Farm Pond (Powys)

Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
Photo credit: Montgomeryshire Wildlife TrustSevern Farm Pond
This is an urban nature reserve in Welshpool.  It has bird hides overlooking one of the pools.  The reserve is great for seeing dragonflies and birds.
 
 
There is access for wheelchairs and push chairs with boardwalks throughout the reserve.  The reserve is open all year round and entry is free.  The reserve is within Severn Farm Industrial Estate; from the centre of Welshpool, take the B4381 over the railway bridge and take the first right.  Take the first right in the industrial estate and the reserve entrance will be in front of you.  Alternatively, the reserve is just a 10 minute walk from Welshpool railway station.
 
 
Grid reference: SJ 229 069.  Nearest postcode:  SY21 7DF.

3 - Cors Dyfi (Powys)

Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
Photo credit: Montgomeryshire Wildlife TrustCors Dyfi (Powys)
The site is part of the Dyfi estuary.  It is a mosaic of wildlife habitats including bog, swamp and pools.  The reserve has been a breeding site for ospreys but is also home to many birds, otters, dormice and of course dragonflies.  
 
 
The reserve is 3.5 miles south west of Machynlleth on the A487 just south of Morben Isaf Caravan Park.  Open 10am to 6pm, April to September; check MWT website or call 01654 781414 for out of season opening times.  The reserve has good facilities and with the exception of the elevated bird hide is fully accessible for wheelchair users and push chairs.  There is a visitor centre, cafe, toilets and car park.  
 
 
Grid reference: SN 701 985.  Nearest postcode:  SY20 8SR.

4 - Dolydd Hafren (Powys)

Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
Photo credit: Montgomeryshire Wildlife TrustDolydd Hafren
This is a varied reserve with the River Severn running through it.  There are pools within the floodplain and habitats can change considerably when the river is in flood!  This diversity of habitats results in a diversity of dragonfly species which includes the White-legged Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle and Common Club-tailed Dragonfly which are all found on running water.
 
 
The reserve is open all year round and there is no charge.  Paths can be uneven and muddy so unfortunately this reserve is not accessible to wheelchairs or push chairs.  There are two elevated bird hides.  
 
To get to the reserve, 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).  Take care as this track is very rough in places.
 
 
Grid reference: SJ 201 000.  Nearest postcode:  SY21 8NR.

5 - Lake Vyrnwy, historically Montgomeryshire (Powys)

RSPB and Severn Trent Water
Photo credit: David KitchingFour-spotted Chaser
This is a 24,000 acre nature reserve owned by Severn Trent and managed by RSPB Cymru.  There are 6 nature trails, including a footpath around the whole of the lake and 3 bird hides.  Other habitats include high heathland, blanket bog and woodland completing a diverse array of habitats with a great variety of wildlife. 
 
 
The reserve is open all year round at all times and entry to the reserve is free.   There is a visitor centre, cafe, shop (has opening times), water sports centre, various accommodation providers toilets and car park.  There is also some access for wheelchairs.  Please follow the website link for a full access statement.
 
To get to the reserve, head to Llanwddyn on the B4393 from Llanfyllin.  At the dam, turn left and then left again at the end of the dam, the car park is on the right.
 
 
 
Grid reference: SJ 016 192.  Nearest postcode:  SY10 0LZ.

6 - Mynydd Illtyd Common, Breconshire (Powys)

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
Photo credit: Keith NobleMynydd Illtyd
Mynydd Illtyd Common is open access land managed by the BBNPA.  Within the common, there are some pools which are good sites for dragonflies.  The reserve contains several pools, two of these, Traeth Mawr and Traeth Bach are within the Illtyd Pools SSSI which are on the western end of the common.  Traeth Mawr is a large, shallow rainwater-fed raised mire; Traeth Bach is a shallow spring-fed basin mire.  Traeth Mawr is dangerous and it is not advised that you walk in the swamp area, but walking the first 100m beside the Camlais stream from the road bidge can give rewarding dragonfly sightings. B There are shallow pools east of the mountain centre some of these dry out but are worth checking if you are in the area.  
 
There have been 15 Odonata species recorded and the site is also home to rare plants, birds and spiders.  The reserve is open access but it is dangerous, with thin layers of vegetation covering deep pools.
 
 
To visit Daudraeth Illtyd Nature Reserve, you can park in a pay and display car park at the National Park Visitor Centre which is also known locally as ‘the mountain centre’ or ‘Libanus Visitor Centre’.  This is 5 miles southwest of Brecon and 15 miles north of Merthyr Tydfil , the postcode is LD3 8ER.  The nearest village is Libanus.  You can walk to the pools from the visitor centre.
 
Alternatively take the A470 south from Brecon, after the village of Libanus, turn right onto the A4215.  There is a footpath from the A4215 Libanus to Defynnog road which leads to Traeth Bach.
 
 
 
Grid reference: SN 967 256.  Nearest postcode: LD3 8ER.  

7 - Brechfa Pool Nature Reserve and SSSI (Powys)

Brecknock Wildlife Trust
Photo credit: Keith NobleBrechfa Pool
This is a small shallow-bottomed lake managed by the Brecknock Wildlife Trust.  11 Odonata species have been recorded here in one day!  The number of species of dragonflies seen at this site does vary from year to year, it is also good for seeing water birds.  It is also home to rare plants including an aquatic fern called pillwort.  There are also some smaller ponds up on the Common. 
 
 
The site is an open access reserve.  To get to the site, follow the A470 south from Llyswen.  After about 1.5 mile, turn right onto a lane.  The lane leads to Brechfa Common and the pool is on the right after the cattle grid.  There is limited parking opposite the small chapel – please do not drive on the turf of the common. 
 
 
 
Grid Reference: SO 118 377.  Nearest postcode:  LD3 0NL.

8 - Llangorse Lake (Powys)

Photo credit: Keith NobleLlangorse Lake
This is the largest natural lake in South Wales.  It is a popular place with people looking for wildlife as well as boating enthusiasts and anglers.  It has a wide range of plants and animals in including at least 16 species of dragonfly and hosts the largest area of reedbeds in inland Wales.
 
 
Public access is limited to the south and west margins of the lake.  Parking is available at the Lakeside car park on the Northern Perimeter of the lake at grid reference SO 128 271.  The Lakeside car park has room for lots of cars and there is also a cafe and boat hire in the summer.  Parking for approximately 6 cars is also available at the Llangasty end where there is a bird hide.  The bird hide is about 800m from the parking area and is accessible via a boardwalked meadow where you can spot many damselflies in June and hawkers in late summer.
 
 
 
Grid reference: SO 128 271.  Nearest postcode: LD3 7TH.

42 – Beacon Hill Pools & Headwaters of the Lugg (Powys)

Crown Estates

Photo credit: Darylle HardyBeacon Hills Pools and Headwaters of the Lugg

Owned by the Crown Estates, Beacon Hill is a remote and interesting area of heather moorland managed to encourage red grouse. As the source of the River Lugg, the large pool on Pool Hill (NGR SO1735 7513) and the River Lugg itself are notified as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Also notable is Beacon Lodge Pool, a dammed pond at NGR SO 18366 74943. Thanks to previous work undertaken by Radnorshire Wildlife Trust a number of small ponds and scrapes have been created or restored on Beacon Hill. The area also features wet flushes and runnels.

Dragonfly Species List

Beacon Hill can be approached by car from Llangunllo through a somewhat twisty, gated metalled road with passing places. Look to park without blocking access near to NGR SO 19159 74840. Be prepared for moderately challenging terrain and walking distances, including an initial 600m walk to Beacon Lodge Pool.

Grid reference: SO 19159 74840. Nearest postcode: LD7 1SY (still about 2.5km short of the parking location).

43 – Begwns Fishpool or Monk’s Pond (Powys)

The National Trust

Photo credit: Dick EastwoodBegwns Fishpool or Monk’s Pond

According to the landowners, The National Trust, the dam that enlarged the original pond was probably constructed in the 1970s. The pond itself is host to a wide range of dragonfly species and the Begwns Common as a whole is rich in upland archaeology, including Bronze Age burial cairns, standing stones, a deserted mediaeval village, various track-ways and quarries dating from the last 250-300 years.

The Begwns Common also has many smaller ponds which are good for watching dragonflies.

Dragonfly Species List

Located about mid-way between Painscastle and Clyro, the site can be approached from Painscastle or via one of a few routes off the A438 (Glasbury to Clyro road). Cars can be parked carefully within a couple of hundred metres of the western end of the pond.

Grid reference: SO 1650 4367. Nearest Post Code: HR3 5NA.

Site contact: National Trust, Brecon Office: 01874 625515; email: brecon@nationaltrust.org.uk

44 – Cors y Llyn NNR (Powys)

Natural Resources Wales

Photo credit: Dick EastwoodCors y Llyn NNR

The wonderful Cors y Llyn reserve is one of several mires in Radnorshire and consists of two basins, with quite different biological qualities, separated by a drier ridge of peat. These hollows were carved out of the bedrock by glacial action, and the basins are largely surrounded by wet woodland with fields of grassland beyond. Cors y Llyn also boasts a small and colourful herb-rich meadow as well as an expanse of open water with emergent vegetation.

Dragonfly Species List

From Newbridge on Wye: travel about two-and-a-half kilometres south on the A470. Turn right off the A470, signed ‘Cwmbach Llechrhyd’. Follow the curve of the road for 150 metres then turn left onto an unsigned narrow road. Continue for a few hundred metres through to an active farmyard, then carefully for another 150 metres - until you get to the car park. Please drive with great care through the farmyard. The car park at the entrance to the reserve can accommodate about six cars.

Visitors should read the site plan at the car park to get an overview of the reserve. There is open access within the meadow owned by NRW. However, within the mire enclosure itself please keep to the boardwalk to avoid sinking in the very deep soft ground.

www.ccgc.gov.uk/landscape--wildlife/protecting-our-landscape/special-landscapes--sites/protected-landscapes-and-sites/national-nature-reserves/cors-y-llyn.aspx

www.first-nature.com/waleswildlife/e-nnr-corsyllyn.php

Grid reference: SO 0163 5556. Nearest Postcode: LD2 3RU.

Contact: Rhys Jenkins, NRW Welshpool: phone 0300 068 0350

45 – Llyn Gwyn, Nant Glas (Powys)

Photo credit: Alan LewisLlyn Gwyn, Nant Glas

Llyngwyn is a beautiful 16-acre spring fed natural lake situated in a secluded area, 3 miles east of Rhayader, accessible off the A44 and the A470. As long ago as the 12th century this lake was stocked with Carp by the Cistercian monks from nearby Abbey-Cwm-Hir. The lake was fished by the Monks on their travels from the Abbey at Strata Florida. The wide range of dragonflies and damselflies reflects the variation in habitats and shoreline present at this tranquil site.

Dragonfly Species List

The lake is managed strictly for anglers by the local angling association. Individuals - not groups - with an interest in dragonflies may visit with prior permission from the Secretary (details below) on the understanding that safety is a major concern and that the interests and enjoyment of the anglers are not adversely affected.

Contact: Alan Lewis, c/o Rhayader & Elan Valley Angling Association; phone: 01597 810383
Email: hafodhardware@btconnect.com
www.rhayaderangling.co.uk/llyngwyn.htm

As you turn off the C-class road which runs through Nant Glas, a stone road will lead you about 600m to a car park at the lakeside. Lakeside car park grid reference: SO 010 651.
Nearest post code: LD1 6PB

46 – Maelienydd Pools (Powys)

Photo credit: Pete JenningsMaelienydd Pools

At 300m altitude, this upland area of Radnorshire feels quite remote but is actually easily accessed by car. Among Maelienydd’s special ecological features are several shallow pools and boggy flushes, variously located within a heathland habitat. The pools support a number of interesting plants and the whole site has also been noted for its upland birds and fungi.

Dragonfly Species List

Located 2 or 3 km to the north east of Llanddewi Ystradenni, the Maelienydd area requires no special permission to visit. The biggest pools: Black Pool (SO 1225 7046), Caergynan Pool (SO 1300 7092) and the unnamed pool (SO 1388 7136) which drains into Cwmnantygelli brook can be accessed by road, followed by a short walk over relatively straightforward terrain. Vehicles should be parked safely off the road without blocking access.

Grid references to largest pools: SO 1225 7046; SO 1300 7092; SO 1388 7136.
Nearest Postcode:   LD1 6ST

47 – Nannerth Pools Nannerth Pools (Powys)

Photo credit: Alison Gallagher

In a superb valley location alongside the Upper Wye, this is a privately owned complex of pools created at different times over a couple of decades by owners André and Alison Gallagher. The wide range of species present reflects the variety of size, depth, age and management of the still water bodies as well as the proximity of wet flushes and the river.

Dragonfly Species List

Although the owners welcome wildlife enthusiasts, they require prior contact to agree parking arrangements and discuss any constraints due to farm animals.
Contacts: André and Alison Gallagher; phone 01597 811121; e mail info@nannerth.co.uk

www.nannerth.co.uk/location.html

Grid reference for Nannerth Fawr Farm: SN 94704 71581. Postcode: LD6 5HA.

48 (a & b) – a) Llandrindod Lake & b) Pentrosfa Mire (Powys)

Llandrindod Lake

Photo credit, Llandrindod Lake: Nick TalbottLlandrindod Lake

Llandrindod Lake was built as a boating lake towards the end of the 1800s. Today the lake is a great place to visit to watch wildlife. There is also a café on site.

Dragonfly Species List Llandrindod Lake

Access to Llandrindod Lake (Grid Reference SO 063 604) is very straightforward and parking is available along the north and east shores. The whole shoreline and nearby wooded areas are worth exploring – the south west and the north east corners of the lake are likely to be most productive.

www.visitmidwales.co.uk/Llandrindod-Wells-Llandrindod-Wells-Lake-Park/details/?dms=3&feature=1006&venue=1022373

Pentrosfa Mire

Radnorshire Wildlife Trust

Photo credit, Pentrosfa Mire: Jonathan StonePentrosfa Mire

Nestling in a valley between Llandrindod Wells and Howey, this nature reserve is a reminder of the wild expanse of wetland, heath and woodland that covered much of the local area until the middle of the nineteenth century. The rich wetland habitat makes this a good place to see a wide variety of birds, plants and invertebrates, including dragonflies and damselflies.

Dragonfly Species List Pentrosfa Mire

To access Pentrosfa Mire (Grid Reference SO 059 596), go up the hill from Llandrindod Lake towards the golf club. Go over the cattle grid and park in the lay-by on the right past the church (Grid Reference SO 064 601). Follow the public footpath through the churchyard and exit into a field. Turn right and leave the field through hidden wooden gate on right. Descend steps and bear right on track; bear left almost immediately following public footpath signs around the farmhouse. Turn left on track and follow track for 400m until you see the reserve on your right.

As this is a mainly wet site, wellington boots are recommended throughout the year. The path is indistinct, uneven and prone to being slippery in places. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead at all times and under strict supervision to minimise the impact on wildlife in this wetland habitat. Please take extra care during the ground bird breeding season (1st March - 31st July), so birds are not frightened away from their eggs or chicks. Cattle, including a bull, graze the reserve from May
until October.

Grid references: Llandrindod Lake SO 063 604; Pentrosfa Mire SO 059 596
Nearest Postcode: LD1 5NU

www.rwtwales.org/reserves/pentrosfa-mire
http://data.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/Pentrosfa_Mire_leaflet.pdf

49 - River Wye from Erwood Station via Boughrood, Glasbury & Llowes to Hay (Powys)

Photo credit: Dick EastwoodRiver Wye from Erwood Station via Boughrood, Glasbury & Llowes to Hay

Downstream from the Erwood Station Craft Centre to the ‘literary festival’ town of Hay, The Wye Valley Walk (WVW) runs almost exclusively through Radnorshire and affords crossings and close encounters with these beautiful middle reaches of the Wye. The mix of slower moving and faster moving stretches of river suits a range of species which includes Gomphus vulgatissimus, Calopteryx virgo, Calopteryx splendens and Platycnemis pennipes. Late May to early/mid-June is probably the best time to see these altogether.

Dragonfly Species List

Best access to the river:-
• Erwood Station Craft Centre, at NGR SO 0888 4394, with its own parking and river walk www.erwood-station.co.uk/how-to-find-us
• Boughrood, from the bridge (at SO 1300 3843) downstream to SO 1389 3848
• Glasbury, http://www.glasbury.org.uk/ with parking and other services available at either end of the bridge, Glasbury Common (NGR SO 1790 3918) and canoe hire for close up exploration of the Wye!
• Much of the WVW west of Llowes (NGR SO 1992 4200) to Hay Bridge (NGR SO 2284 4259)

www.wyevalleywalk.org/content.php?nID=6&ws=5