A nationally important wildflower meadow

2. Vicarage Meadows Nature Reserve

This 3.6 hectares of wildflower rich meadow and wet pasture is set on the side of a hill in the Irfon valley and lies adjacent to the Nant Irfon National Nature Reserve.

Many years ago, the local vicarage owned Vicarage Meadows. The fields provided a hay crop and a place to graze horses and cows. The small stone barn was used as a shelter for milking cows.

The BWT continues to use traditional management methods with a hay crop being taken off one field and Exmoor ponies grazing the whole site, giving the reserve's many wildflowers the chance to flourish.

What to look out for:

This is one of the Trust's most botanically rich reserves. The western meadow is a sheet of bluebells in the spring, followed by a carpet of orchids in the summer. Also to be found are betony, great burnet and dyer's greenweed. Look out for the yellow flower spikes of bog asphodel in the damper parts of the site.

Look out for small pearl bordered fritillary butterflies here in June. In late summer, the dense mauve heads of devil's-bit scabious flowers provide a late season nectar source for many other butterflies and insects.

How to get there:

Take the unclassified road to Abergwesyn from Llanwrtyd Wells or Beulah. Just south of Abergwesyn, the road crosses the River Irfon. Adjacent to the river are two gates. Park by the side of the public road, taking care not to obstruct the gates. Go through the gate nearest the river, follow the track past a small cottage on your left, passing through another gate, just after the cottage. Walk up the slope and through the gate on your right. The entrance to the reserve is immediately on your left.

Nearest town: Abergwesyn. Post code LD5 4TP.

OS map sheet 147. Grid reference SN 850 526

Accessing the Reserve:

The reserve is an open access reserve, you are allowed to visit the reserve on foot for your quiet enjoyment of the wildlife present. Please keep to the paths and any dogs under close control.

There may be ponies on site, please do not approach them or feed them. Additionally there may be electric fencing to keep them off parts of the site, please cross this with care.

There are no trails as such around the site but there is one small stretch of wooden boardwalk to cross a stream. Please leave all site gates as you find them. The site can be very wet at all times of year.

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Small pearl bordered fritillary butterfly Small pearl bordered fritillary butterfly breeds here, feeding on marsh violets

Greater butterfly orchid Greater butterfly orchid, one of several orchid species to be found here

A dung beetle
A dung beetle, one of the many different and very varied species of wildlife that live here


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