Know before you go
Parking informationCoed Dolbebin entrance: parking for two cars in small hard-standing area at SH611276 (nearest postcode LL45 2PE) . Coed Crafnant entrance: parking for two cars on the roadside at SH617290 (nearest postcode LL45 2PF).
Grazing animalsFeral goats, all year round.
Steep woodland on north-facing hillside with uneven, steep and rocky paths
The site is very steep in places and the path is rough. The rocky surface is covered in moss and can be wet and slippery – walking boots are essential. The remote location also means that mobile phone signal is practically non-existent.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitYear round
About the reserve
Filled with primitive plants and ancient oak trees, Coed Crafnant connects you to Britain’s forested past. The 6,000 years of continual shelter from these trees has created the perfect conditions for mosses, lichens and ferns to flourish – indeed, species have been recorded here that were once thought to be nationally extinct. This wild, ancient Atlantic oak woodland is steeply sloped and roughly divided into terraces, each with its own microclimate and inhabitants. A visit in spring and summer will reward you with a wealth of wildflowers and nesting birds, but the wild tranquillity of this remote valley will hold your attention at any time of the year.
The main focus of work on this site is to maintain the reserve boundaries to keep out grazing animals such as feral goats and sheep. The exclusion of these grazers allows the natural processes of woodland regeneration to take place. Selective clearing helps to create a shifting pattern of glades and a healthy woodland with a diverse age structure, leading to a highly biodiverse habitat. To help the falling UK populations of pied flycatcher, 95 nest boxes have been put up around the woodland.
Did you know?
Plants first evolved in water and many of our most primitive plants – like mosses and liverworts – still require a very wet environment in order to reproduce. Their leaf structures trap liquid, creating their own watery microclimate.
Turn off the A496 at the pub in Llanbedr. Continue towards Cwm Bychan for 2.75km until Pen-y-Bont (SH 607 280). For the reserve’s southern entrance, turn sharp Right over a bridge and through a gate, following the rough track. Turn Right to Y Fron. Continue uphill through the second gate and bear Left, continuing for 200m. Park in the small layby on your Left, next to the reserve sign (SH 611 276). For the northern entrance, continue past Pen-y-Bont for another 1.5km. Park at the side of the road by a gate at SH 616 289. Go through the gate on foot, follow the track over the bridge and past an old barn on your Right, crossing a stile. Bear Right on the track until you reach the reserve entrance and sign.