Craig Cerrig-gleisiad National Nature Reserve



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The Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad NNR, just a few hundred yards from the A470 Merthyr Tydfil-Brecon road, is an atmospheric amphitheatre created by the 500ft (150m) high crags of Craig Cerrig-Gleisiad. The NNR’s prize botanical feature is the rare arctic-alpine plants at their southern limit in Britain – such as purple saxifrage and mossy saxifrage – which cling to the reserve’s ledges, gullies and crags. They are just some of over 500 plants that have been recorded. The vertical woodland of the crags supports trees and shrubs including hawthorn, rowan, mountain ash and rare whitebeams. But the cliffs only make up a fraction of the 156-acre (63ha) NNR. The lower slopes are home to mixed woodland and flowers such as orchids and anemones, while the moorlands above supports heather and bilberry. Around 80 different bird species either visit or breed in the reserve. Peregrine falcons nest on the cliffs and the raven, merlin and red kite can also be seen in the skies, the latter especially at Craig Cwm-Du. Summer visitors include wheatears, ring ouzels, skylarks and chaffinches.

Craig Cerrig-gleisiad National Nature Reserve
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About the area

Discover Powys

The largest unitary authority in Wales, Powys covers an area of approximately 2,000 square miles. Much of that is mountainous because it actually has the lowest population density of all the Welsh counties.

This much wild, empty space is perhaps best typified by the International Dark Sky Reserve in the Brecon Beacons National Park, one of only eleven in the world. The absence of light pollution creates an exceptional spot for star gazing. You won’t find any cities in Powys, just villages and smaller-sized towns, but that’s the way its inhabitants like it. 

Newtown, the largest settlement, is perhaps most famous for being the birthplace of Robert Owen, the founder of the Co-operative movement. Brecon is a market town set on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park, while the pretty Victorian spa town of Llandrindod Wells boasts the National Cycle Collection. Elsewhere, Hay-on-Wye hosts a major literary festival every year.

Powys is liberally scattered with castles, burial mounds, hill forts, and other historic markers; Powis Castle, near Welshpool is probably one of the most impressive. And for walking enthusiasts, it’s not just the Brecon Beacons on offer – the Elan Valley describes itself as the ‘Welsh Lake District’.

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