Daudraeth Illtud Nature Reserve

Powys, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7LH, Wales

ACCESS : Open at all times, by paths off the unfenced road across the common. But keep off the very boggy area of Traeth Bach.

The boggy moorland needs looking at closely if you are to see much in this superficially monotonous habitat; but not too closely in the wetter parts where the ground can be dangerous and there is a real chance of getting stuck.

In the wetter flushes look for the insectivorous duo of sundew and butterwort. A sure sign of acid conditions, low in nutrients, where these two plants supplement their diet with insect priotein. Creeping amongst the bogmosses is the low-growing bog pimpernel which puts up its pink trumpet-like flowers at regular intervals off a thin stem. An unusual feature of Traeth Mawr is a stand of great fen sedge.

This is curlew, redshank and peewit country, where the distinctive cries of these three birds in particular add so much to the moorland atmosphere. Well camouflaged snipe probe the edges of pools and marshy ground for food, and herons take frogs and insect larvae such as the large and ferocious dragonfly nymphs. Those that survive emerge as the dragonflies that can be seen hawking over the water in summer.

PARKING : Roadside parking, but please do not drive onto the common.

TIME : 1/2 hour will give you time to look over the reserve for interesting arrivals.

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