Know before you go
Footpath leading to the reserve. Contact the Trust for disabled access information.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to November
About the reserve
'Old hill, I love thy springy turf, Thy berried ash and wild-wood cherry, Thy bracken bronzed and gorse aflame. Thy rare, elusive spindleberry'. From Musings on Llynclys Hill by J. Evans .
Llynclys Hill has everything – woods, meadows, scrub, screes, old quarries, sunny glades, a pond and big skies. It's extraordinary variety of habitats make it a fantastic place for birds, plants, butterflies, moths and so, of course, for botanists, birdwatchers and all keen naturalists. It’s also wonderful for children, ideal for hide-and-seek, kite flying and picnics.
The vegetation here has changed radically over the last century. The entire hill was once clear pasture, grazed by sheep, ponies, cattle and pigs belonging to registered commoners. But as the grazing beasts were withdrawn, so the scrub and woodland moved in until barely a patch of its ancient, springy turf survived. It is thanks to the close involvement of the reserve wardens and dogged efforts by Trust volunteers that glades stayed open.
Today things are looking much brighter on the hill. Fencing has once again made it possible to graze animals here and the result is a wide swathe of herb-rich, closely nibbled grassland and big views. Woodpeckers peck ants from anthills, foxes sunbathe, and butterflies bask on their favourite flowers.
Limestone brings light to the eyes of botanists and nowhere more so than Llynclys Common. More than 300 plant species have been recorded here including fairy flax, eyebright, wild thyme, common rock-rose, cowslip, Devil’s-bit scabious, yellow-wort, salad burnet, lady’s bedstraw and numerous kinds of orchid.
The purchase of Crickheath Hill in 2004 added a further 12 hectares to the nature reserve. Here you find woodland with craggy limestone outcrops, trailing, twisted stems of honeysuckle dangling from the branches of ash and oak. There are several small meadows, with orchids and other wild flowers.
Directions: Park in the lay-by just west of Llynclys crossroads on the A495, opposite Dolgoch and walk up Turners Lane or follow one of the many footpaths nearby.