Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Wildlife and landscape

Ceredigion's countryside is a haven for wildlife with moorland, woodland, rivers and quiet lanes lined with flower filled hedgerows providing great habitats and opportunities to spot birds and other wildlife. Simply go for a walk, visit one of our many and varied nature reserves or wildlife centres, or let our local guides and experts show you the best on walks, talks and tours. See our top tips for enjoying Ceredigion's countryside and wildlife below.

Flower filled verges

Hedgerows are the typical field boundaries of Ceredigion, usually formed of earth banks topped with hazel, hawthorn and blackthorn hedges. Many lanes are also lined with beech hedges and trees, whilst field boundaries in the southern part of Ceredigion often includes 'golden chain' laburnum.

Flowers typical of many of our verges include yellow primroses and celandines, the whites of wood anemone, stitchwort or cow parsley, and pink and blue of red campion, foxgloves and bluebells. Look out too for cuckoopints and early purple orchid. On steeper banks and upland verges harebell and sheep's bit scabious flourish, along with bilberries and heather.

Many birds, including bullfinch and yellowhammer nest and feed in hedges, lizards live in gaps in the banks and walls below the hedge whilst high above, on telephone poles, buzzards perch to survey the surrounding lanes and fields.

Woodlands

Woodlands

Many of Ceredigion's broadleaved woodland are at least 500 years old in origin, with sessile oak, birch, rowan and hazel as well as a variety of mosses, fern and lichens enjoying the pure air and cool shade. Coed Einion at Eglwysfach and Coed Rheidol woods and gorge in the Rheidol Valley are both Special Areas of Conservation under European law.

Bluebells carpet Ceredigion's valley slopes in spring. Visit sites such Pant Teg woods and the Llanercheron estate in the Aeron valley, Longwood community woodland near Lampeter, Old Warren Hill and Nanteos woods in the Ystwyth valley, and Parc Penglais, a nature reserve at the heart of Aberystwyth town to name but a few, but you'll find bluebells in most woods across the county.

Smell wild garlic in riverside glades in spring, refresh your tongue with the taste of wood sorrel or wild strawberries and raspberries in summer, and feast your eyes on the colourful displays of foliage and fungi in autumn. 

Woodlands birds include pied flycatcher, redstart, jay, long-tailed tit, nuthatch, woodpeckers and warblers as well as buzzards and ravens.

Hares can sometimes be seen in fields at the edge of woodland. Look out for deer near Llechryd in the Teifi Valley, and the woods of the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains provide shelter for small populations of pine marten, and even red squirrels.​​​

Top 10 tips for enjoying Ceredigion's countryside

Here are our top tips on how to enjoy the best of Ceredigion's wildlife:​​

Ceredigion's wildlife centres are great places to discover wildlife, from the sandunes of Ynyslas and the nearby RSPB reserve at Ynyshir - base for the BBC's Springwatch in 2013, to the spectacular setting of Bwlch Nant yr Arian in the Cambrian Mountains and the Welsh Wildlife Centre on the Teifi estuary. The Boat Place at New Quay is the centre for the marine Special Area of Conservation. There are guided walks, seashore safaris and lots of other activities you can join. See our events listings for details.​
There are several great vantage points along the Ceredigion Coast Path where you can see birds, dolphins, porpoises and seals. Try Aberporth headland, Foel y Mwnt, Ynys Lochtyn and the former coastguard's hut at Birds Rock. Take a stroll along Aberystwyth Promenade just before dusk in the autumn and winter to catch the spectacle of thousands of starlings swooping and swirling in formation before coming in to roost. Ynyshir RSPB reserve on the Dyfi estuary is also a great location to see winter migrant birds. To find out what the latest sightings are at any time of the year, check out the Ceredigion Bird blog.
​At Bwlch Nant yr Arian you can watch up to 200 red kites swooping and diving for food. As well as kites, there are at least 40 other different species of birds to see and hear, including woodpeckers, siskins and cross bills. Enjoy woodland walks, stroll around the lake to the bird hide, or watch the birds on the giant bird table from the cafe.
​Follow the river Aeron's wooded riverbank between Aberaeron harbour and the National Trust's Llanerchaeraon estate; explore the hill and woodland trails of Bwlch Nant yr Arian; Or cycle the along the Rheidol or Ystwyth Trials, or any of our wildlife friendly lanes, which are flanked by flower filled verges and hedgerows.
​The Vale of Rheidol Railway line travels through the Coed Rheidol Nature reserve, and has stops convenient for the fish ladder and the Rheidol Falls as well as the terminus at Devil's Bridge for visiting the famous waterfalls.
​Spot birds and other wildlife from the train. The Dyfi Bioshere is served by the Cambrian Coast railway line which has stops convenient for beaches at Borth and Ynyslas, and the boardwalk onto Cors Fochno raised peat bog.  Catch a bus to the Dyfi Osprey observatory from Aberystwyth or Machynlleth.
​The historic landscape of Hafod is one of the finest examples of 18th century 'Picturesque' landscapes. Designed by Thomas Johnes, the woodland paths, plantations and gardens are now being restored, revealing hidden cascades and superb vistas across the valley. Ceredigion's woods are havens for wildlife, and you'll discover glades with ferns and mosses, pretty cascading streams and waterfalls.
​Experience the amazing landscape of a raised peat bog. From afar the russet hues are in striking contrast to the the surrounding green fields and woods, but take a closer look and you'll discover an amazing pallette of colours and textures.  The bird hide at Cors Caron is a great place to spot a wide variety of birds, whilst the Ystwyth cycle trail takes you past a kettle pond - a reminder of the bog's glacial beginnings.
Discover more about Ceredigion's biodiversity, traditional uses of plants, countryside skills and sustainable living at the eco-lodge and nature reserve at Denmark Farm near Lampeter. There are all kinds of short, one day or residential courses from hedgelaying to feltmaking, and a range of great activites for children during school holidays.
​Ceredigion's gardens are a delight to visit, and there's a choice of gardens and plant nurseries open to the public as well as private gardens - from mountainside slopes to the coast -open through the National Garden Scheme.  You can visit farms too - some have interesting trails and footpaths to follow, or why not combine both with a visit to the National Trust's Llanerchaeron estate, a model 18th century farm with walled gardens and trails through riverside meadows and woods.