Pengelli Forest NNR near Felindre Farchog is part of the largest block of ancient oak woodland in west Wales. The ground flora is characteristic of acid sessile oak woodland with wavy hair-grass, common cow wheat, wood millet, wood sedge, moschatel, wood anemone, violet, golden saxifrage and bilberry, plus numerous moss species. Among the rich diversity of mammals are badgers, polecats, woodmice, dormice and bank voles. The rare barbastelle bat is one of eight species of bats which roost and forage in the woodland. Frogs and newts breed in the wetter areas, while the common lizard and slow worm have also been found. Interesting invertebrates include the oil beetle, dark and speckled bush crickets, while white letter and purple hairstreaks and the silver-washed fritillary butterflies are also found here. The range of birdlife includes redstart, wood warbler, pied flycatcher, chiffchaff, buzzard, tawny owl and sparrowhawk, with woodcock visiting in winter.
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About the area
Wales meets the Atlantic Ocean in spectacular fashion at Pembrokeshire. Unlike the West Country, Pembrokeshire can offer the coast without the crowds, and quaint fishing villages without those huge coach parks. Volcanic eruptions and earth movements have left a tortured rocky coastline of some 160 miles, whose beauty and drama have been recognised by National Park status.
Sometimes known as ‘Little England Beyond Wales’, the county has held a fascination for English visitors ever since the first Norman warlords forced their way in 800 years ago, leaving a string of 50 fine castles in their wake. The anonymous author of The Mabinogion, an 11th-century collection of Welsh folk legends, started it all. His description of the old Celtic kingdom of Dyfed (which encompasses Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire) as ‘the land of magic and enchantment’ was perhaps the earliest written attempt to sum up the outstanding natural beauty of this wonderful westernmost outpost of Wales. This is a county where you can take it easy on the sandy beaches, make sport out of those Atlantic waves, or discover the mysteries of St David’s or the ancient Preseli Hills.
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