Once under serious threat from limestone quarrying, Carmel NNR is one of Wales' finest natural jewels. In the last 4 years The Grasslands Trust has been working with the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) and BTCV to restore areas of grassland which were neglected and overgrown with scrub and woodland.
Public access has also been improved so that this amazing area of countryside can be better enjoyed and appreciated by visitors.
"To steal Oliver Racham’s words - Carmel is definitely one of the UK’s finest nature reserves. There are 14 different types of habitat here including the UK’s only main land Turlough – a seasonal lake."
Charli Evans, Carmel’s Community Grassland Officer
If you are interested in visiting Carmel then look out for the Spotted flycatcher – which feed on many types of flying insect. They can often be seen in the woodland glades hunting prey from a high perch. You’ll also see Stonechats – so called because their call sounds like two stones being clapped together.
These attractive birds are quite uncommon in Carmarthenshire. The variety of meadow flowers here provide a fantastic source of pollen and nectar for bumblebees. In early Spring you’ll find swathes of Lily of the Valley – an indicator of ancient woodland and in the summer months Greater butterfly-orchid and Devil’s bit scabious.
You will also find at Carmel:
- Four Victorian Lime Kilns
- Sink holes caused by underground erosion
- Stunning displays of Greater Butterfly orchids in the western fields throughout June and July
- Mezereon - a deciduous shrub which is incredibly rare in the wild, and provides a colourful display from February onwards when it flowers
- Devil's bit scabious - so named because its roots stop abruptly as if they have been bitten off by the devil out of spite! An important food plant for the marsh fritillary butterfly - a species which is declining in almost every European country.
- The Counties of Carmathenshire, Glamorganshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Powys can all be seen from Carmel's highest peak