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What can I find at Cae Blaen-dyffryn in spring?

Cae Blaen-dyffryn is our south Wales nature reserve and can be found close to the town of Lampeter, in Carmarthenshire. It’s best known for its population of Greater and Lesser Butterfly Orchids (Platanthera chlorantha & P. bifolia) which flower in the high summer. 

However, a visit in spring is always rewarding. Luxuriant fresh growth in the grassland is fed by a warm sun and abundant rain. Cuckoos call from distant hills. Within the reserve, Meadow Pipits drop from the sky above you with their cascading song, and Stonechats call assertively from the scrub. 

What’s in bloom this month?

You can also find the earliest-flowering plant species breaking through in Cae Blaen-dyffryn in May and June.  If you look carefully, you can also find signs of other beauties still in store, like the feathery leaves of Whorled Caraway Carum verticillatum (Carmarthenshire’s ‘County Flower’) poking through. 

Discovering Orchids at Caeau Tan y Bwlch

Our North Wales nature reserve, sitting on a hillside above Clynnog-Fawr on the Llyn peninsula, is equally known for its population of Greater Butterfly Orchids which number in their thousands at the site.  

The meadows under the mountain pass face north east, making them a morning spot to visit if you wish to enjoy them in the sunshine at this time of year. They are as equally beautiful in the North Wales rain, however.

The cloddiau (earth and stone bank walls) between the fields are an equal show to the meadows, with their hedgerow tops of Rowan, Damson, Hawthorn and Blackthorn. If you look below the trees the Common Dog Violets Viola riviniana hide amongst the tree roots and the boulders. 

What else is in flower in spring?

The orchids are already visible in the meadow and the Yellow Rattle Rhinanthus minor is just starting to flower. 

There is something wonderful about the sense of promise yielded by flower-rich grasslands at this time of year. And a feeling you can’t wait to come back to see what you might find next. 

Caeau Tan y Bwlch is managed on behalf of Plantlife by North Wales Wildlife Trust. 

How do I visit a Plantlife nature reserve in Wales?

For more details on visiting our Welsh reserves in spring and throughout the year, visit our reserves page here Welsh Nature Reserves – Plantlife 

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