Dinefwr Deer Park IPA

Location: On the western outskirts of Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, south of the A40.

Grid Reference: SN 613 223

Dinefwr Deer Park 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 broadleaved deciduous woodland.

    The park and woods of the Dinefwr Estate are a still functioning deer park, an early medieval establishment. Within the park and ornamental woods a great number of veteran trees survive, some believed to be 13th century in origin. The trees at Dinefwr are left in place to die slowly and the decaying timber and the very old trees support numerous interesting lichens. More than 160 have been recorded here, including some rarities, making it the most important parkland site for lichens in South Wales.

    Dinefwr has something to offer its visitors all year round; from the early spring flowers right through until the fungi appear in autumn. In May, the bluebells at Castle Woods, just below the castle, provide a wonderful display. These south-facing woods are dominated by ash with a characteristic ground flora of dog’s mercury, lesser celandine and wood millet. Ferns like soft shield fern and hart’s tongue are abundant in this area. Oak dominated areas are found to the east of Castle Woods and at South Lodge Wood. Here pendunculate oak forms a closed canopy, and the shrub layer consists mainly of hazel with occasional rowan and hawthorn.

    The ground flora is dominated by bluebells, brambles, ivy and bracken. The Bog Wood is an alder carr bordering the south-west margin of the Deer Park. It is home to a range of damp woodland species such as water mint, yellow iris and common marsh-bedstraw. The decaying timber is also excellent for fungi, and the oak trees are home to a number of bracket fungi, including the beefsteak fungus. Many beautiful grassland fungi are found in the park including pinkgills and waxcap species.