About the Reserve:
The site is shown as a woodland in the 1840 tithe map, with a small orchard near the kissing gate. The woodland is managed as a combination of high forest and coppice-with-standards. An extensive boardwalk trail covers the length of the reserve. Ongoing management consists of winter rotational coppicing of small compartments.
Owned by the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust. The reserve, covering 4.5 hectares (11 acres) was purchased in 1982 and 1985 with help from the Countryside Commission. A further extension of about 1ha (2.5 acres) was added to the northern part of the reserve in 2001.
Wildlife of Interest:
This linear woodland alongside the River Ithon consists of two stand types; wet Alder and Ash over a Hazel understorey. The ground layer consists of extensive areas of Bluebells with Dogs Mercury, Red Campion, Yellow Archangel and Greater Stitchwort. The wood is an important location for Early Purple Orchids, and contains Orpine and Hairy St John's Wort, both scarce in Radnorshire, and the grass Lesser Hairy Brome. In the wetter areas Kingcup, and both Opposite-leaved and Alternate-leaved Golden Saxifrage are found.
Birds are well represented with over 40 breeding species. Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Great and Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, and warblers including Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Wood Warbler, Blackcap and Garden Warbler breed in summer along with Bullfinch, Buzzard, Spotted Flycatcher and Marsh and Willow Tit. Woodcock winter in the wood and Grey Wagtail, Sand Martin and Dipper are commonly found on the adjacent river, where Kingfisher, Pied Flycatcher. and Goosander may also be seen.
The woodland is rich in lower plants, Lichens, Mosses and Liverworts. Insect species include important beetle communities,erirn with all three British Cardinal Beetles, and the snail-killing ground beetle Cychrus caraboides found on the reserve. Butterflies include Orange Tip and Ringlet.
Along the river dragonflies and damselflies are common, including the Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) and the White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes). Mammals include Daubenton's Bat and otter - their spraints often being found near Shaky Bridge.