About Cefn Cenarth Nature Reserve
Two areas of upland sessile oak woodland connected by a recently felled conifer plantation now replanted with native broadleaved species. An important place for mosses and lichens.
The northern part of the reserve was purchased by the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust in 1973, the wood is part of a much larger block of woodland typical of the uplands of this part of mid-Wales. Though shown on the 1939 tithe map of St. Harmon it is clear that large sections have been clear-felled during the first and second World Wars. In 1982, the southern part was purchased and in 2004 the middle section called Cwm-yr-Ychen was purchased linking up the acid sessile oak woodland nature reserve.
Sessile oak dominates the reserve with rowan a common species. Bilberry, wavy hair-grass and cow-wheat are frequent in the field layer and in the ground layer, the moss Rhytidiadelphus loreus. Lichens include the nationally scarce Biatora chrysantha (the sole Radnorshire site), Bryoria subcana, Usnea glabrescens and Pertusaria opthalmiza (one of 2 Welsh sites). Lichens include Pertusaria multipuncta, and Sphaerophorus globosus, also the moss Bartramia pomiformis are found here. Breeding birds (34 species) include pied flycatcher, wood warbler, redstart, spotted flycatcher, three species of woodpecker, tawny owl, coal tit, nuthatch, treecreeper, song thrush and mistle thrush. Visitors include sparrowhawk, buzzard, raven and cuckoo. The cow-wheat shield bug Sehrius bigutatus and brassy coloured ground beetle Calosoma inquisitor are found along with the oak feeding longhorn beetle Leiopus nebulosus. The green oak tortrix moth Tortrix viridaria is common, its caterpillars providing an important source of food for birds in the spring. Galls are frequently encountered including common spangle gall, silk button gall, and oak apple gall.
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