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Wales Countryside And Animals

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Aberdulais Falls and Tin Works
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
Three miles north-east of Neath on the A4109
Tel. 0 1639 636 674
Open: Nov-mid Dec, Jan-end Feb, weekends, 11am-4pm; March-mid April and Oct, daily, 11am-4pm; mid April-end Sep, daily, 10.30am-5pm
National Trust property; waterfalls at former industrial site; now a hydroelectric scheme; Turbine House has interactive computer, fish pass, observation window, display panels; lifts to upper levels for views of the falls; largest waterwheel generates electricity; picnic areas; refreshments; shop; parking

Abergavenny Priory Deer Park
Wye Valley and Vale of Usk
Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
On the A40
Well-preserved medieval deer park by priory ruins

Afan Forest Park and Countryside Centre
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Forest walks; Miners Museum and more
Six miles north-east of Port Talbot, on A4107
Exit 40 of the M4
Tel. 0 639 850 564
Open: April-end Sep, daily, 10.30am-6pm; Nov-end March, weekends, 10.30am-5pm
Information; 50 miles of walks in the forest park; historic farm trail traces valley farming history with 17th century longhouse farm ruins and corn barn; Miners Museum; tea-room; play area; souvenirs; guide leaflets; barbecue site (must be prebooked); picnic areas; mountain bike course; forest garden; parking

North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Between the B4501 and A543; north of the A5 from Cerrigydrudion
Open: April-Oct, daylight hours
Reservoir in narrow heather and tree lined valley on Denbigh moors; waterski training centre (by membership) with clubhouse and slalom course; 7.5 mile cycling and walking trail; parking; picnic areas; viewpoints; dam built in 1916; butterflies and moths in the grassland

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Beacons Reservoir
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Minor road west of the A4059, west of the A470
Head of Taff Valley in Brecon Beacons National Park
Open: year round, open site
Paths and trails; parking at southern end of reservoir; passage birds; common wildfowl, woodland and moorland species; osprey in spring and autumn; sites of archaeological interest include remains of longhouses seen in low water level periods

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Cantref Reservoir
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Off the A470 south of Brecon in Brecon Beacons National Park
Open: year round, open site
Surrounded by coniferous woodland; paths and trails, footpath over the dam; wildfowl and woodland species include tufted duck and pochard; mixed woodlands of native broadleaves and conifers; parking

1.5 miles north of Llangefni on the B5109 and west of the B5111
Open: year round, open site
Secluded reservoir in coniferous forests; parking; paths and trails on lake shores; butterflies on view include red admirals, ringlet and others; bird hides with whooper swan, tufted duck, pochard, grebe and ruddy duck in winter; warblers in woods in summertime, crossbills and siskins year round; migrant hawker and golden ringed dragonflies

Cors Caron National Nature Reserve
North of Tregaron
between Lampeter and Aberystwyth
Car park on the B4343
Tel. NA
Open: open site
862 acres; home to wide range of wildlife including otters, water voles, water shrews, polecats; insects; plants; three raised bogs surrounded by mix of habitats including reedbed, wet grassland, rivers and streams, ponds, woodland; bird hide; boardwalks accessible for wheelchair users, surfaced paths; riverside walk; cycle path beside the reserve

Crymlyn Bog & Pant y Sais National Nature Reserve
Swansea, Gower, and the Vale of Neath
Visitor centre car park, off the A483 near Swansea
Open: all year
A fen site in a hub of industrial development; car park; waymarked route; boardwalks
Largest native spider in Britain: Fen raft spider, usually perched on a leaf or plant; variety of birds and invertebrates. Directions: turn left off Fabian Way (A483) into Port Tennant (Wern Terrace) by the Hooker Dyers pub; at top of Wern Terrace turn right onto Dinam Road; drive past entrance to Tir John tip; reserve centre and car park 800 metres further on, on right hand side

Cwmcarn Forest Drive and Visitor Centre
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Signed from the M4 exit 28; approach from A467
Open: Easter-end Oct, daily, 11am-7pm
Seven mile long scenic drive; campground; picnic places; playground; guide leaflets; barbecues; parking

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Dinefwr Park
Off the A40
Open: mid-March-end Oct, 11am-5pm, daily; Nov-mid Dec, 11am-5pm, Fri, Sat, Sun
Park under management of Cadw and Wildlife Trust of south and west Wales; medieval deer and cattle park, perhaps landscaped by Capability Brown; restored ice house and Victorian Italianate garden; views; park walks; 3000 new trees planted in 2007; remains of two Roman forts in grounds; Newton house, a National Trust property is located in Dinefwr Park as is Dinefwr castle

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Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo
Begelly, Kilgetty, near Tenby, SA68 0XA
Detailed instructions on website; brown signposts
Tel. 0 1834 812 731
Open: Nov-mid Dec, Jan-mid Feb, 4th week Feb-mid March, weekends, 10am-4pm; until 5pm third week Feb; 3rd week March through Labour Day, daily, 10am-5.30pm; from Labour Day-end Oct, daily, 10am-5pm
Four amusement and activity areas: Vintage Funfair (undercover with vintage funfair rides), Jolly Barn (farmyard animals, feeding routines, baby animals and petting), Folly Zoo (animals range from camels to prairie dogs to sheep to monkeys and rare breeds), Adventure Playground (indoor and outdoor areas for kids); demonstrations; shows; talks; aviary; cafť, snacks; shop; special events; parking
Web: Folly Farm

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Garwnant Visitor Centre for Brecon Beacons
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Taf Fawr valley, five miles north of Merthyr Tydfil
Signed from A470 road to Brecon
Tel. 0 685 723 060
Open: Good Fri-end Sep, weekdays, 10.30am-4.45pm
Information about wildlife and landscape of Brecon Beaconís forests; tea-room; souvenirs; guide leaflets; picnic areas; play areas; waymarked walks; parking

Gelli Aur Country Park
Gelli Aur, Carmarthen
On B4300
Tel. 0 1558 668 885
Open: all year except Christmas
90-acre country park with 17th century deer park and 18th century parkland with trees; 10 acre Victorian arboretum; home in grounds not open

Gethin Woodland Park
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Accessed from roundabout south of Merthyr Tydfil on A470 to Cardiff; Rhondda area
Mixed woodlands; picnic area; walks with outstanding view to Brecon Beacons; play area; parking

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Hafod Estate and Church
Pont-rhyd-y-groes, 15 miles south-east of Aberystwyth
Tel. 0 1974 282 568
Open: estate open year round, daily; church open daily, 10.30am-4pm
Owned by Forestry Commission Wales and Hafod Trust; 18th century landscape grounds laid out in picturesque style in 200 hectares of Ystwyth valley and surrounding hills; waymarked paths; church designed by James Wyatt and built 1830, burned and restored, 16th cen stained glass window; parking near Hafod Church on B4343
Web: Hafod Estate

Henblas Country Park
On the B4422 Aberffraw road
Tel. 0 1407 840 440
Open: daily except Sat, 10.30am to 5pm, 3rd week March over Easter; 3 days first week May, then 3rd week May-mid Sep, Oct half term; also open BH weekends
Shearing demonstrations, working sheepdog demonstrations, farm animals and lamb feeding; tractor tours; childrenís rides; indoor and outdoor playgrounds; Neolithic burial chamber; pony rides; tea-room; crafts; shop; picnic area; parking

Hensol Woods
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Near St Donats church; reach from Cowbridge on A4222 Llantrsant road, turning right at Ystradowen
Rhondda area
Waymarked walks through varied woods with over 50 species of recorded birds; glade with larches; picnic area; parking

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Llandegfedd Reservoir
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
On minor roads off the A4042 east of Pontypool and south of the A472
Tel. 0 1291 673 722 (rangers from March-Oct); 01495 769 281 (rangers from Nov-Feb)
Open: year round with sailing and canoeing season from March-end Oct
Large reservoir in rolling landscape; sailing and boardsailing; boat hire; fishing; canoeing; sub aqua diving (for club members only); Site of Special Scientific Interest with birdwatching, important for wintering wildfowl and migrants in spring and autumn; refreshment kiosk; parking; shop at sailing school; self guided paths and trails; picnic areas; viewpoints; interpretive panels at eastern car park; events program

Llwyn-on Reservoir
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
On A470 north of Merthyr Tydfil
In Brecon Beacons National Park
Tel. 0 1495 769 281
Open: visitor centre and tea-room open daily, 9am-5pm, summer only; reservoir open year round
Surrounded by woodland; special events; paths and trails; picnic areas; viewpoints; bird hide; parking

Llyn Alaw
Minor roads off B5111 from Llanerchymedd
Tel. 0 1407 730 762
Open: year round, daily, 7am-dusk
Reservoir in rolling pastureland designated Site of Special Scientific Interest; reached by country lanes; exhibition on natural history, fishing, and water supply; path around lake and circular farmland trails; self guided nature trail; wildflowers, dragonflies, butterflies; picnic site; wildlife pond; two bird hides with mallard, wigeon, shoveler, goldeneye, curlew, golden plover, raptors, and whooper swans on view; parking on minor roads off B5111 and other sites around the lake

Llyn Aled
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Off the A543
South-west of Bylchau on the A544
Reservoir in wild heather moorland with moorland flora; part of the Mynydd Hiraethog Site of Special Scientific Interest; hunting ground for raptors that include peregrine falcons, merlin, and hen harriers; sailing facilities with clubhouse; parking

Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Cerrigydrudion, Denbighshire
On the A5
Tel. 01490 420463
Open: Easter-Oct (Visitor Centre), no days or times given
Visitor centre in 1800 acre estate with nature trails and hides for observing wildlife; exhibits on natural history, geology, and archaeology of the area; fishing; play area for children; cafe; shop; picnic areas; parking
Web: Llyn Brenig Visitor Centre

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Penpych Woodland Park
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Follow signs to Treherbert, then Blaencwm, Rhondda area
Waterfalls at head of Rhondda Fawr valley; forest walks; parking

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Radnorshire Wildlife Trust Bird Hide
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Erwood Station Craft Centre
Erwood near Builth Wells
Open: 10am-5pm, daily
Restored 1891 Victorian railway signal box, used on Cambrian line in Newbridge-on-Wye now re-invented as bird hide; cameras to watch birds that include blue tits and great tits; views of river Wye.

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Sirhowy Valley Country Park
Cardiff, Coast and Valleys of South Wales
Access from exit 28 of M4; signed off A467
Waymarked walks in mature mixed woodlands; picnic area; play area; parking

Skokholm Island Nature Reserve
Skokholm Island
Tel. not given
Open: April-Oct, Tue-Sun, boat leaves 10, 11, noon for the island from Martinís Haven; depends on the weather; for full details visit the website
Internationally important colonies of breeding sea birds, including Manx shearwater, 4500 puffins, storm petrel, 2000 razorbill and guillemots; grey seals basking on rocks; harbour porpoise seen on boat trip; Grade II listed cottage and converted farm buildings used by staff and up to 15 residential visitors or volunteers; car park at Martinís Haven; remote cameras on mainland a future plan
Web: Skokholm

Old Home Farm, Stackpole
B4319 near Sampson Cross, Bosherton
Tel. 01646 661359
Open: daily all year--countryside
National Trust property; 2000 acre Stackpole estate includes cliff, headlands, beaches, sand dunes, lakes and woodlands; landscaped in 18th century; Romantic style with water features, bridge, grotto, ice house, woodland gardens, summer house; wildlife and birds; car parks; boathouse tea-room

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Talybont Reservoir
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
On minor road south of B4558 and town of Brecon in Brecon Beacons National Park
Tel. 0 1495 769 281
Open: year round
Site of Special Scientific Interest in wooded valley and local nature reserve; wintering wildfowl and passage migrants; bird hide; camping all year; parking; picnic areas; viewpoints; paths and trails, one goes across the dam

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Usk Reservoir
Mid Wales and Brecon Beacons
Minor road south-west of A40 from Trecastle and west of A4067
Upper reaches of Usk Valley in Brecon Beacons National Park
Tel. 0 1495 769 281
Open: year round, open site
Large upland reservoir surrounded by forest and moorland; paths, trails and cycle path around reservoir; common woodland and wildfowl bird species include red kite, tufted duck and pochard; wide range of flora and fauna; parking

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Welsh Mountain Zoo (National Zoo of Wales)
North Wales Coast and Borderlands
Colwyn Bay, Conwy
Off old highway from west end of Colwyn Bay
Tel. 0 1492 532 938
Open: daily, year round except 25 Dec; April-Oct, 9.30am-6pm (last entry 5pm); Nov-March, 9.30am-5pm (last entry 4pm)
Conservation zoo; animals include snow leopards, brown bears, Sumatran tigers, red pandas, camels, penguins, porcupine, otters, monkeys, wild horses, Arctic foxes, alligators, sea lions, birds, and reptiles; 37 acres of gardens with woodland walks and formal terraces; touch screen AV centre; two cafes; picnic area; special events; shop; adventure land for children; parking
Web: Welsh Mountain Zoo

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