Ponds & Woodlands
A Local Nature Reserve &
Community Green Flag Award Winner
Due to the site being adjacent to the moorland tops of the Llangattock and Llangynidr mountains, there is little shelter and harsh winter conditions. The mountains are within the Brecon Beacons National Park although the site itself is not within the Park’s boundaries.
The site as a whole is of great biodiversity value, supporting a mosaic of habitats such as acid grasslands, hay meadows, wet heath mire, swamp and open water. The two former reservoirs known as Upper Boat and Lower Boat Ponds and the mire and swamp communities surround them are particularly important. Part of the site also includes Mynydd Llangattock Common which is important for notable species such as snipe and breeding lapwing. It is also a valuable site for the local community and popular for walking, angling, bird watching and other forms of informal recreation.
The map to the left shows the boundaries (In RED) of the area which contains the Beaufort Hill Woodlands.
The Woodlands And The Surrounding Area.
The site, which lies at approximately 1300-1350 feet above sea level is primarily upland in nature, is located immediately to the south of the A465 ‘Heads of the Valleys’ Road, close to the northern border of the former county of Gwent, and comprises approximately 81 hectares of gently-sloping land lying at the edge of the Clydach Valley, the main course of which flows to the north-east and east of the site. The site also lies at the heads of two parallel, steep-sided valleys which run away to the south, following the courses of the rivers Ebbw and Ebbw Fach respectively.
The village of Beaufort and the town of Brynmawr lie to the south of the site, and the south-western and western site boundaries lie immediately adjacent to the developed edges of the former, which comprise mainly rural-suburban residential streets of medium to low density houses with gardens etc. To the south and south-east there are a series of enclosed farm pastures and hay meadows which lie between the site and the settlement of Brynmawr to the south and east.
Beyond the A465, which forms the northern and north-eastern site boundaries, lies the open country of the Brecon Beacons National Park, which in this area comprises an extensive area of grazed upland moorland habitats with small areas of coniferous plantation.
In the late 18th and 19th Centuries the agricultural landscape of the region was transformed by the development of the coal and iron industries. The majority of the site was exploited for these resources, resulting in a landscape of coal levels, quarries and spoil heaps, the latter commonly comprising the distinctive ‘finger-spoil’ pattern.
Most of this landscape was subsequently levelled and re-landscaped in the 1960s during the construction of the A465 Heads of the Valleys road. Two major areas of the industrial landscape survive, however, on the eastern side of the site, including a large quarry and associated ‘scouring ponds’ and a large area of quarrying/mining and finger-spoil.
These areas are the most historically significant parts of the present landscape.
The photographs below were all taken within the site and show the surrounding area.