Part of the National Trust’s Dinefwr Park estate near Llandeilo, the Dinefwr NNR is the only area of parkland to receive NNR status in Wales. Some of the oaks in the deer park are 700 years old, and are home to a host of beetles and lichens. More than 160 species of lichens have been recorded, making it the most important parkland site for lichens in South Wales. In addition, over 400 species of beetle, including the rove, rhinoceros, darkling, false darkling and four-banded longhorn, live here. Dinefwr is one of the top 20 sites in Britain for invertebrates that depend on dead wood. In spring, the woodlands are famous for their displays of bluebells, and Castle Woods is brightened by thousands of lilac flowers. All three of the native British woodpeckers are found here, and the Twyi Valley where the park is situated is a well-known area for summer visitors such as redstart and pied flycatcher.
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About The area
Carmarthenshire is the largest of the historic counties of Wales, and known to have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Carmarthen, its county town, with its Roman fort, claims to be the oldest town in Wales.
Carmarthenshire was a heavily disputed territory between the Welsh and the Normans in the 12th and 13th centuries, and many of the castles and forts dotting its landscapes date from this period. They include ruins at Carreg Cennen, Dinefwr, Dryslwyn, Laugharne, Llansteffan and Newcastle Emlyn, as well as the slightly better-preserved Kidwelly Castle. Carmarthen Castle, meanwhile, saw further fighting during both the Wars of the Roses and the Civil War, when it was captured twice by the Parliamentary forces, and ordered to be dismantled by Oliver Cromwell.
In these more peaceful times, the economy of the county is mainly agricultural (the 19th-century Rebecca Riots, in which local farmers and agricultural workers protested against higher tolls and taxes, started in Carmarthenshire), and its fertile farmland is known as ‘The Garden of Wales’. A more literal garden, the National Botanic Garden of Wales, opened in 2000.
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