The Ebbw Fach Trail


"A walk from our industrial past -  

 To our environmentally friendly future."

Cwm lake June 2011  04

Beaufort Hill Woodlands

The site lies approximately 1300 – 1350 feet above sea level and comprises  81 hectares of open space situated north of Beaufort and to the south of the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road between Ebbw Vale and Brynmawr. Most of the site was created as a land reclamation scheme on an area of former opencast mine workings.  

The site as a whole is of great biodiversity value supporting a mosaic of habitats such as acid grasslands, hay meadows, wet heath mire, swamp and open water.        

The two former reservoirs known as Upper Boat and Lower Boat Ponds and the mire and swamp communities surround them are particularly important.  

Part of the site also includes Mynydd Llangattock Common which is important for notable species such as snipe and breeding lapwing. It is also a valuable site for the local community and popular for walking, angling, bird watching and other forms of informal recreation.

The site is adjacent to the  moorland tops of the Llangattock and Llangynidr mountains on which there is little shelter and harsh winter conditions. The mountains are within the Brecon Beacons National Park although the site itself is not within the Park’s boundaries.        

Two ponds are adjacent to the woodland area.These ponds are linked to the early days of the industrial revolution.

A map dated 1880 shows the existence of the ponds which were built to supply water down to the Nantyglo  Ironworks’approximately 2 miles distant. The ironworks were built in 1780.  

After the closure of the Nantyglo Works,water was diverted to supply a new works being built in Ebbw Vale.            

In 1937,when the new Richard Thomas and Baldwins Steelworks opened in Ebbw Vale,a new  reservoir was constructed at  nearby Blaen-Y- Cwm and the ponds were kept full by water being released from this reservoir.                                  

Since the closure of the Corus steelworks at Ebbw Vale in 2002,the reservoir has been acquired by Welsh Water and the ponds now rely entirely on their own small water catchment area.

 The source of the Ebbw Fach River is the Lower Boat Pond at Beaufort Hill Woodlands.

Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands

 A Local Nature Reserve and Green Flag Award Winner

To find out more about Beaufort Hill Ponds & Woodlands, please visit their website, by clicking on the logo, also on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Beaufort Woodlands





   Highlands Road Entrance

There are three car parking spaces - two are for disabled visitors.

   Bottom of Little Lane

There are six car parking spaces for for disabled visitors.


'Beaufort Hill

Woodlands' Page 2

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To get directions to the main entrance at Highlands Road, please use the GOOGLE Map to the right , and then click on "view larger map"


Drone view of part of the Ponds & Woodlands site.

This image is copyrighted and reproduced courtesy of Richard Whitcombe

- please click to enlarge