About Rhayader Tunnel Nature Reserve

A former railway line and tunnel with young woodland and remnants of flower rich grassland. A long narrow reserve with a path leading straight through to the Elan Valley.

The grassy banks of the old railway tunnel are home to wood bitter-vetch, great burnet, broad-leaved helleborine, prickly sedge, betony and harebell. Rare lichens include Abrothallus bertianus and Arthonia clemens with some rare and unusual woodlice having been seen here over the years.
The old railway tunnel is now a bat hibernaculum with five species recorded; the lesser horseshoe, Daubenton's, Natterer's, brown long-eared and whiskered. The cave spider Meta menardi suspends its teardrop shaped egg-sac upon a silken thread from the ceiling of the tunnel.

Birds include finches in the winter attracted to the thistle seed-heads. Chaffinch, greenfinch, goldfinch, brambling and siskin may all be found, as well as occasional tree sparrows. Linnet and tawny owl are known to breed her with grey wagtails often found in the cutting. Overhead, raven, buzzard and red kite are often seen.


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