20. Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve

The Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve is a 265 acre reserve situated between Cardigan and Cilgerran. It is made up of reedbed, marsh, woodland and slate waste left over from historical quarrying. There are a number of walks along the nature trails, some are flat tarmac and wheelchair and pushchair friendly, while others such as the gorge trail are more rugged. The main cycle trail from Cilgerran to Cardigan runs through the reserve with a number of bird hides along the trail.

The Stunning Welsh Wildlife Centre

Picture Credit Stuart Hall

The reserve is home to the Welsh Wildlife Centre, a striking wood and glass building which contains information about the local walks and wildlife, accessible toilets, a gift shop and the Glasshouse Cafe. The Glasshouse Cafe is open from 10 am for drinks and snacks and serves hot and cold lunches from 12 until 2.30 pm daily. The visitor centre has full disabled access.

There is an adventure playground, a willow maze and a giant willow badger outside the centre.Children’s activities run daily through the school holidays and there are often other events running, see website for details.

Dog are welcome on the nature reserve and on the cafe balcony but must be kept on a lead at all times.

Opening Times The Teifi marshes nature reserve is open at all times.

The shop and the cafe are open from 10 am seven days a week, the visitor centre closes at 5 pm in summer  and 4 pm in winter. The centre is closed for Christmas week, reopening New Year’s Day.

Admission

There is no charge for admission to the reserve or the visitors centre.Parking is £3 for a full day.

Contact Telephone: 01239 621600

E-mail: wwc@welshwildlife.org

Website:

The Welsh Wildlife Centre https://www.welshwildlife.org/visitors-centres/the-welsh-wildlife-centre/

Teifi Marshes Reserve  https://www.welshwildlife.org/nature-reserve/teifi-marshes/

OS Map Explorer 198 (Cardigan and New Quay)

Wildlife Centre grid ref: SN186452

Getting there: Car access to the reserve is by a small road from the south starting just outside Cilgerran.

Bus: Cardigan routes, X50 (Cardigan to Aberystwyth), and route 412 (Cardigan to Haverfordwest) Walk from Cardigan.

Parking: Pay and display car park near visitors centre £3 for a full days parking. Free for members of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

Accommodation: Oak Tree Cottage at the Welsh Wildlife Centre

https://www.welshwildlife.org/oak-tree-cottage-cwtch/

Fforest Glamping Site

https://www.coldatnight.co.uk/rooms/

 

Nearby: Heritage Canoes are based at the Teifi Marshes and provide canoe trips along the Teifi gorge.

http://heritagecanoes.squarespace.com/  Tel 01239 613961

Tel. 01239 613961

River and Reed Bed

Picture Credit Mike Snow

 

More info on the Reserve

The Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve extends downstream from the Wildlife Centre to Cardigan. It contains large expanses of Common Reed (the second largest in Wales) within which there are several bird hides for observing the diverse range of wildlife here. The hides offer views of different kinds of bird habitat, and there is the chance to see birds of prey (such as Buzzard and Sparrowhawk), smaller resident and migrant birds (varieties of Finch, Warbler, Tit, and Starling), and fishing and wading birds in the estuary (Heron, Cormorant, Gull, and others).

Larger residents of the reserve include otters, Red Deer, foxes, badgers, and the (seemingly unlikely) Water Buffalo, which have been introduced to keep the shallow pools clear of vegetation to help the insect and amphibian life there.

Walks

The reserve is divided into four main walking trails, which are either loops or form sections of loops.

1) Closest to Cardigan is the Otter Trail: partly boardwalk passing through the dense reed growth and partly following the path of the old railway line, this trail forms a circuit that can be begun from the Cardigan end of the marshes or from the car park in the reserve (reached from the Cilgerran road). It is around 3km (2 miles) long. Only the eastern section along the former railway line is suitable for wheelchairs. A guide to the wildlife that might be seen on the trail is available for 30p from the Wildlife Centre.

2) The Gorge Trail leads up the Teifi towards Cilgerran. It can be used as one side of the “forest hill circuit” (a short guide to this walk is available from the Wildlife Centre for 30p) and can be linked at its south end (by way of a public footpath) with the Squirrel Trail, which returns to the Wildlife Centre through woodland. The Gorge Trail passes six slate quarries next to the Teifi, the debris from which significantly changed the channel during the 19 th century making it narrower and shallower (and hence treacherous for boats). The circuit takes in riverside habitats in the shady and quiet gorge, as well as forest habitats in which Red Deer and many species of bird, smaller mammals, and wildflowers live. The loop is around 4km (2 ½ miles) long,

3) The Gorge Trail also forms part of the Cardigan to Cilgerran walk. The path continues further up the Teifi from the Gorge Trail and takes about 2 hours (4 hours return) and is 7 ½ km (4 ½ miles) each way. Details of the walk can be found in the Walking the Teifi Estuary booklet available from the tourist information office in Cardigan, or can be downloaded at:

www.tourism.ceredigion.gov.uk/saesneg/cardigan.htm

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