Cambrian Mountains Orefield IPA

Location: Scattered to the north and south of the A44 in west central Wales.

Grid Reference: SN 802 751


Cambrian Mountains Orefield IPA has been recognised as one of 165 Important Plant Areas in the UK.

The key features of this IPA are:

  • The species richness of lichens in miscellaneous inland habitats with very sparse or no vegetation: metalliferous mine-spoil
  • One of the best UK examples of threatened habitats of:
    Open grasslands on heavy metal rich substrates
  • Twelve long-abandoned heavy metal mine sites and an area of heavy metal rich river shingle beside the Afon Ysywyth comprise this site.

    Together they support some of the most important areas for metal tolerant or metal-demanding mosses, lichens and higher plants.

    Natural outcrops of heavy metals have been so heavily exploited only secondary anthropogenic sites remain.

    Image: Cambrian Mountains Orefield © Ray Woods