Cors Caron is one of the most important raised peat bogs in Britain. It covers an area of 870 hectares to the north of Tregaron, and is a rare habitat sustaining a diversity of plant and animal life. The bog was designated a National Nature Reserve in 1955 and is now owned and Managed by Natural Resources Wales. A network of boardwalks enables visitors to get right into the heart of varied habitats and to enjoy seeing the wildlife at close quarters.
Cors Caron was formed around 12,000 years ago with the melting of glaciers at the end of the last ice age. A shallow lake formed behind a terminal moraine left by the glacier. The lake then slowly filled with sediment and vegetation, which eventually formed the peat that would be extracted from the bog by the human population until into the 1960s. The peat was even a source of fuel for the abbey at Strata Florida during its operation.
As well as its geological significance the bog offers a habitat for many species of bird and other animals. Among these are birds of prey including Red Kite, Buzzards, Peregrine Falcons, Sparrowhawk, Hen Harrier, and Barn Owl; there are also Teal, Reed Bunting, a variety of Warblers, and many other bird species to be seen here. Spring and Summer bring the spectacle of dragonflies, and Common Lizards can often be seen basking on the boardwalk. If you are lucky you might even catch sight of an Otter.
Plant cover is largely reed, grass (cotton grass, purple moor grass), heather, and sphagnum moss, and there are some other gems to be found like the bog asphodel, carnivorous sundew and bog rosemary (the county plant of Ceredigion) Looking across the bog, the shades of red, brown and yellow make a powerful contrast to the surrounding greenery – the local name for the bog is Cors Goch Glanteifi (the red bog on the Teifi).
All of the walking trails are way marked and start from the main car park.
There are two main circular walks:
- the boardwalk over the south-east bog passes the large observation building where you can enjoy a peaceful view of the landscape and wildlife. the boardwalk is fully accessible and around 2 miles long.
- The circular Riverside Walk is a longer route (5 miles) which passes through the heart of Cors Caron.
For a whole day’s walking, there is also a path along the western edge of the bog (starting near Tregaron) which can form one side of a 19 km (approx 12 mile) loop returning along the railway path through the bog. The last section of the walk is along the road back into Tregaron.
You can also access a 6 km section of the Yswyth Trail, a National Cycle Trail. This follows an old railway track along the edge of the reserve.
Grid Reference: centre of car park GR SN691625
Access: The circular boardwalk is fully accessible. The access to the boardwalk is 450 metres from the main car park along a fairly accessible path (the total distance of the return route is 1.6 miles (2.6 km)
By car: travel North out of Tregaron on the Eastern side of the Teifi valley, taking the B4343 for approx. 3km (2miles) to a car park next to the road and at the edge of the reserve
Buses to Tregaron: 585 and 588 services (Lampeter to Aberystwyth via Tregaron)
Ceredigion bus timetables can be found here: www.ceredigion.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=483
Parking: Car park
Facilities: There are accessible Toilets in the main car park, and information boards.
David B. James, Ceredigion: Its Natural History (Bowstreet: published by the author, 2001)