Nestled in the spectacular Mawddach Valley, Coed Garth Gell is an ancient woodland and heathland nature reserve. The oak woods, or Celtic rainforest are internationally important for their rare mosses, liverworts and lichens. The heathland at the top of the reserve supports migrant Tree Pipits and Nightjars in the summer.
The visitor trails weave through beautiful oak woodland with a fast-flowing river in the valley bottom. Carpets of lichens cover the trunks and branches of all the trees. Look out for Witch's Beard or Usnea Florida, with its tangled tresses and ‘eyes’. Pied Flycatchers, Redstarts, Wood Warblers and Lesser Horseshoe Bats all call this wonderful place home.
Part of the reserve's nature trail follows the route of an old gold mining track, and the remains of buildings and other structures associated with the abandoned gold mines can still be seen around the reserve.
The views at the top of the reserve along the Mawddach Valley and up to Cadair Idris are some of the most admired in Britain. The nature trail is rugged and steep in places, so sturdy footwear is essential.
The woodland has many ancient and mature trees, especially oaks. These trees and the wildlife that thrives around them prefer open-light conditions. But young, crowding thickets threaten visibility and light levels, so we work hard to restore the right conditions, using grazing and removing the invasive Rhododendron.