Teifi Marshes reserve
Teifi Marshes nature reserve
This reserve is situated on the floor of the wide pre-glacial channel left by the former course of the river Teifi. It is now occupied by the river Piliau, which meanders through the marshes in a narrow but deceptively deep cut. Habitats include open pasture and well-wooded hedgerows, alder and willow carr, freshwater marsh with open pools and tidal mudbanks.
The central path runs through the reserve on the embankment built for the opening in 1886 of the railway between Whitland and Cardigan. At this location it curved towards the west, to the station site south of the Teifi. The track was removed a few years after the last passenger train in 1962.
The area floods in winter, attracting large numbers of wildfowl, notably teal, wigeon and mallard. Large numbers of water rail can be seen in winter. Other winter visitors include bittern, snipe, curlew and lapwing. Peregrines hunt over the marshes. Breeding birds include reed, sedge and Cetti’s warblers, shelduck and moorhen.
Water buffalo are used to graze the site at certain times of the year. Otters and mink live in the marshes, water shrews are numerous and red deer graze the meadows. Fish species include lamprey, stickleback, mullets, eel, sewin and salmon. Grass snakes and adders also live here.
The area is rich in dragonflies including emperor, broad-bodied chaser, southern hawker and scarce nlue-tailed damselfly. The reserve is part of Coedmor National Nature Reserve.
The wildlife centre at the reserve includes an interpretation centre and café. The reserve’s paths are a mixture of tarmac surfaces, boardwalks and woodland tracks. Visitors can enjoy a circular walk which passes all five of the bird hides and each of the different habitats.
Grid Reference: SN187430 (main entrance)