BWLCH NANT YR ARIAN AND DEVIL'S BRIDGE
The Forest Visitor Centre at Bwlch Nant yr Arian, 10 miles east of Aberystwyth is a fabulous place to start a forest walk, mountain bike ride or simply to watch the Red Kite feeding which takes place each afternoon. Kites are fed by the lake and the hide just behind them gives great close-up views. For the best pictures you need to be patient on busy days and wait until the crowds have given up and left! Then some kites swoop over the water to pick up dropped feed, giving stunning opportunities for spectacular shots. Views from here over to the coast are absolutely stunning. Find out more at the Forestry Commision website.
Not far south of Nant yr Arian are the waterfalls of Devil's Bridge. Theses are well worth a visit, especially when the rhododendrons are in flower. The ancient sessile oak woodland in the valley is home to bountiful wildlife and is beautiful at any time. Just a few miles further south is the Hafod Estate. Park at Hafod Church to access stunning forest and river walks, and try to find the "Robbers Cave" - complete with waterfall at the end.
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The RSPB reserve at Ynys-hir (as featured on BBC Spring-watch) on the A487 at Eglwys-fach between Aberystwyth and Machynlleth is a super place to walk and see a wide range of bird species and also wetland insects. There are a variety of habitats including woodland, grassland, wetland and the Dyfi estuary. If you are lucky you may see the ospreys which nest close by, flying overhead to their hunting ground, or returning with fish. The Dyfi Osprey Project is sited a few miles north of the reserve and here you can observe the nests from a viewing platform. Find out how they are doing this year at the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust website.
THE BERWYNS AND THE EAST
The three peaks of Moel Sych, Cadair Berwyn and Cadair Bronwen make a challenging but spectacular walk, with 360 degree views. By starting at Pistyll Rhaeadr near Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant, you can first observe the highest single drop waterfall in the UK at 80m, then climb to its top and perch over the exposed edge (with great care!) Continue the climb to the top of Moel Sych and then round the ridge before returning along the valley. Details of this walk can be found on the AA website.
The east of Mid Wales is a haven of unspoilt walking country and often results in us stumbling across the unexpected. What better way to spend an evening than watching young badgers as they explore the area around the sett?