Lake and sweeping hills beyond at Dyfi National Nature Reserve
Lake and sweeping hills beyond at Dyfi National Nature Reserve

Ceredigion - Dyfi National Nature Reserve

Explore the Dyfi National Nature Reserve

Dyfi National Nature Reserve is found midway between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth. The three main areas that make up the 2,000-hectare National Nature Reserve are The Dyfi estuary, Ynyslas sand dunes, and the raised bog of Cors Fochno.

The Dyfi estuary includes internationally important mudflats, sandbanks and saltmarsh that provide feeding areas for waterfowl and migrating waders. You might also catch a glimpse of other wildlife such as ospreys and otters.

The Ynyslas sand dunes on the southern side of the estuary mouth are the largest dunes in Ceredigion. The dunes are home to a rich population of orchids, mosses, liverworts, fungi, insects and spiders; many of which are rare and some are not found anywhere else in Britain. From sand dunes on the shore to vegetated shingle, fore dunes, mobile dunes, fixed dunes, and scrub, they show all stages of dune growth. They're home to a rich populace of orchids, greeneries, liverworts, organisms, bugs, and insects; Many of these species are uncommon, and others are unique to Britain.

Cors Fochno lies to the south east of the dunes and is one of the largest examples of a raised peat bog in Britain. The most westerly part of the bog has been eroded by the sea but, at low tide, the stumps of long dead trees can be seen on the beach near Borth.

Around 5500 BC, a portion of the estuary floodplain was covered in forest. However, as sea levels rose, the forest gave way to reed swamp, which was followed by peat bog. Sphagnum mosses in shades of gold and red cover the surface of the bog today. The sea has now eroded the most western portion, but at low tide, long-dead tree stumps can still be seen on the beach near Borth.

From the visitor centre to the beach, there is a 500-metre boardwalk across the dunes and a shell path that leads to a boardwalk across the dunes.

Sundews, the rosy marsh moth, and the small red damselfly are among the insectivorous plants that thrive in this area.

The Dune Walk takes you through the ever-changing dunes and along the seashore, with stunning displays of flowers in spring and summer and colourful fungi in autumn.

The Ynyslas Walk is a longer route and goes through a rich variety of habitat including sand dunes, seashore, farmland and saltmarsh with stunning views of the estuary.

The Cors Fochno Walk is a circular boardwalk over the bog from the small parking area at Cors Fochno. Dogs are not allowed on this boardwalk.

All the walks are waymarked from start to finish and there are information panels about the routes in the visitor centre and in the car park.