Cae Pwll y Bo Nature Reserve, Powys


Afon Irfon

Small field of rough, damp grassland, bordered by conifers, along the deep valley of the River Irfon, famous for its display of globeflowers in early summer
Along the road between Llanwrtyd Wells and Abergwesyn; LD5 4TN
Photo Tour (14 images)
Cae Pwll y Bo Nature Reserve, a small area of rough grassland, has a secluded and remote location in the Cambrian Mountains of central Wales, 4 miles north of Llanwrtyd Wells along the steep-sided valley of the River Irfon. The slopes along this section of the valley are wooded, covered by an extensive conifer plantation established in the mid 20th century, apart from the grassland, a narrow strip of damp pasture adjacent to the river, only about 400 feet long and 60 feet wide; a remnant of a much larger field that once stretched uphill several hundred feet to the road to Pwll-y-Bo farm.

The meadow is famous for its colourful displays of globeflower in early summer, with upwards of 2,000 plants in bloom at the same time, thought to be the best display in central and south Wales. Other notable wildflower species growing here are devil's-bit scabious, great burnet, pink purslane and saw-wort.

Pwll-y-Bo is Welsh for hobgoblin pool, presumably named after a deep section along the river, though this is not shown on any map. The farm building still survives, in a clearing in the conifer plantation, and is reached by a gravel track off the (unnamed) road through the Irfon valley, nearly opposite a Forestry Commission picnic area which serves as a parking place for visitors to the nature reserve - beside a small grassy area overlooking the river, here flowing forcefully past dark grey boulders. This location is one mile south of the village of Abergwesyn, while the nature reserve is 500 feet away, and as the meadow is so small, around half an acre in area, it can be explored in just a few minutes. The globeflowers are concentrated in the centre of the grassland, a short distance west of the entrance gate.

Rocks in the Afon Irfon
Rocks in the Afon Irfon