Llandegfedd Reservoir is a Site of Special Scientific Interest with around 4 miles of footpaths and way-marked wild walks open to the public. Whether you are looking for a short stroll to a longer walk around the reservoir trail, there are plenty of points at which to stop and take in the beauty of the surrounding countryside.
Please be aware that the terrain can be quite hilly and challenging on the West side of the reservoir.
Llandegfedd was designated a SSSI for its importance to over-wintering wildfowl. As such, the reservoir is closed to all activities from 1st November to 1st March each year.
The reservoir trail crosses a section of the reservoir that is highly important for certain species of over-wintering birds so access is restricted to the period between 1st March and 30th September. Gates accessing the grasslands at the Inlet car park and at the southern end of Pentrewaun woods will be closed and locked on 1st October to allow us to comply with the legal requirements set out by NRW in the SSSI Management Plan. Keys are available to bird watchers purchasing annual permits to allow access during the winter months. Please help us by observing this closure and not venturing into areas where wildfowl may suffer disturbance.
During our open season please note that the northern gate is locked at 5.30pm daily. No vehicles are to be left in the car park after this time.
The Llandegfedd Reservoir Trail has been developed in partnership with Monmouthshire CBC and Llanbadoc Community Council and you can download of the walkers map for the Llandegfedd trail here.
Dogs will be welcome but in the interest of other visitors, nesting birds and livestock; should be kept on a short lead at all times. Please do not allow dogs to swim in the reservoir.
Please note that the Reservoir Trail is a walking route using permissive and public rights of way and as such is not open to cycling.
The reservoir level tends to drop in the summer. We ask that walkers stay on the paths leading through the meadows and not onto the shoreline to ensure rare bird species who are nesting are protected and to ensure the water safety of our visitors.
Enjoy beautiful wildlife and bird watching all year around. Bird watching permits are available from the reservoir shop. In addition to the over-wintering birds, Llandegfedd is also a very important site for Gulls, breeding birds and passage migrants during spring and autumn. In 2020 we were also lucky enough to play host to a rare Smew while it stopped for a 2 week break at the North end of the Lake.
In the winter, we see large numbers of wildfowl arrive to escape their normal, colder habitats of Northern Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. Inland reservoirs such as Llandegfedd are very important for these birds to roost and feed throughout the winter months with little disturbance.
Llandegfedd is one of the major sites for birds in Wales. Over 240 bird species have been recorded at the reservoir. So that the birds are not disturbed, water activities will not take place during the winter. Most of the wildfowl will have left the site by early March to make their way back to their summer breeding grounds.
Llandegfedd was once agricultural land with areas of woodland connected by hedgerows. Today, it is a Site of Special Scientific Interest with nationally important grasslands along its northern edge which are managed as hay meadows. Hay cutting encourages the spread of wild flower seeds and improves biodiversity. The short grass left after hay has been removed is grazed by sheep to keep it low for grazing winter wildfowl. Flowering plants include Bee Orchid, Southern Marsh Orchid, Common Spotted Orchid, Yellow Rattle and numerous other species. The grasslands also contain uncommon and rare species such as Orange Foxtail Grass and Adders Tongue Fern.
The woodlands at Llandegfedd are mainly Oak, Ash and Beech but where trees have fallen or removed, pioneer species such as Birch are thriving. A woodland understory of Hazel and brambles provide excellent bird nesting habitat, food and shelter for small mammals and a home to our badgers. Butterflies also thrive on site and include less common species such as Marbled White and Purple Emperor. A large number of badgers are present around the reservoir with networks of setts found throughout the local woodlands.
Otters are also present but being so ellusive they are very difficult to see. We also have a good population of Harvest Mice and possibly one or two Dormice.