COUNTRY: Nature is on your doorstep.
But tomorrow the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales will be inviting visitors to its Melincwrt Falls Nature Reserve, near Resolven, Neath, to explore the beauty spot which gave Turner his inspiration.
Walkers will be able to take a free tour of the reserve between 2pm and 5pm on the day, as part of the Trust's programme of Nature on Your Doorstep open days, aimed at encouraging the public to get to know their local reserves and what their local Wildlife Trust has to offer.
Melincwrt Falls is a striking reserve, made up of ancient broadleaved woodland, stream and waterfall, covering an area of 5.2ha (12.8 acres).
The woodland floor is carpeted with bluebells in spring, while enchanter's nightshade takes over later in the year.
Alternate-leaved golden saxifrage and tutsan can be found in some wetter areas. Ferns thrive in the humid atmosphere of this narrow valley, with 20 recorded, including green spleenwort, brittle bladder fern, hay-scented buckler fern and Wilson's filmy fern.
The birdlife is typical of this habitat, with dipper and grey wagtail all year round and red-start, wood warbler and pied flycatcher in summer. Otters are known to visit the stream, a tributary of the River Neath.
On a historical note, the remains of a blast-furnace and iron works can be found on the northern boundary.
``Melincwrt Falls is a spectacular reserve and one of which our Trust is proud to be caring for,'' said Derek Moore chief executive of theWildlife Trust of South and West Wa
es ``But like so many of our 100 or so reserves, we want to share it with others,'' he added.
``We want to help people who love nature to appreciate the beauty of reserves like this.''
# Melincwrt Nature Reserve is half a kilometre south-west of Resolven, eight km north-east of Neath, signposted from the A465. Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council provides a car park on the west side of the road, south of Resolven. The reserve can be reached by a public footpath. The entrance is on the opposite side of the road from the car park.
RETURNING: You can catch up with progress on returning otters tomorrow at Resolven
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|Publication:||Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)|
|Date:||Jun 7, 2003|
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