These old hay meadows are some of the few remaining examples of species rich grasslands in the Sirhowy Valley. Grasslands like these are becoming less common across the country too. Careful management of this Local Nature Reserve has allowed the wildflowers to flourish and these in turn provide food for insects, birds and mammals.
There are two large warm summer meadows on the banks of the Sirhowy River. It’s an ideal location for butterflies and moths that feed on the profusion of wildflowers. The locally scarce marsh pug moth and the small pearl-bordered fritillary both make their home here. In the spring the small pond is a seething mass of amorous amphibians. Herons pop in for a frog feast as well. In the evening Daubenton and noctule bats flit across the meadow.
By day, kingfishers and dippers commute up and down the river collecting food for their young. If you are lucky you catch a glimpse of an otter on the Sirhowy. At either end of the meadows where the grassland gives way to woodland there are some spectacular carpets of bluebells underneath the developing oak trees.
Where it is Flatwoods Meadows is located within Sirhowy Valley Country Park.
Grid Reference ST 207912
How to get there Details for how to get there can be found on the main Sirhowy Valley Country Park page.
The Education Centre, Parc Penallta, Penallta Road, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed. CF82 7GL.
Tel: 01443 816853