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170410 Craig Y Cilau NNR (4)

Last Wednesday I joined 19 of my fellow Glamorgan Bird Club members on a trip to the Craig-y-Cilau National Nature Reserve. Though our species list for the day totalled around 30, most birds were too distant for photographs but the location, high in the hills on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, is stunning!

The limestone cliffs here were once quarried and our path – at times rather narrow and with a steep drop to one side – followed the route of the old tramway, the signs of which could still be seen in the stones. The cliffs are riddled with caves, with a mapped system of over 400 miles of passageways, though you’d be foolhardy to enter without an experienced guide.

170410 Craig Y Cilau NNR (6)

Though the birds were somewhat elusive, we were surrounded by flourishing and sometimes rare flora, with wildflowers aplenty and some interesting fungi.

And the panoramic views, towards the towns of Crickhowell and Llangattock and over the surrounding countryside, were simply sensational. We didn’t get a chance to explore the whitebeam-filled woodlands or the unique raised bog so I’m already planning a return trip.

170410 Craig Y Cilau NNR (2)