From frogs and newts to ducks and woodpeckers, there are countless remarkable creatures to discover at Bryngarw Country Park.
It’s hard to believe that the beautiful River Garw used to be known as the “black river” due to its heavy pollution from the coal industry. Now it’s a thriving habitat for kingfishers, dippers and grey wagtails – and at night, Daubenton’s bats can be seen flitting just above the surface of the water. Beneath the surface, the river is populated with a rich variety of fish such as rudd and brown trout and invertebrates including the larvae of the mayfly and caddis fly.
The wildlife ponds in our Oriental Garden are home to amphibians such as common toads, frogs, and palmate newts, while the lake has a healthy population of fish including roach and tench. It also has waterfowl such as mallard and Canada geese – and on early summer mornings you might spot a kingfisher diving from overhanging branches to snatch small fish from the waters.
Foxes, squirrels, woodpeckers and tawny owls inhabit our mature, native woodlands: as you walk between the tall trees, listen out for the sound of a woodpecker drumming in spring, or visit closer to dusk for the chance to glimpse a fox.
Our plant life is outstanding too. The park is sensitively managed to protect its biodiversity and has approximately six acres of beautiful wildflower meadows – an especially important feature considering that the UK has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows since World War II. The meadows are edged by hedgerows, some of which are hundreds of years old.
Our mature mixed woodlands are home to native trees such as sweet chestnuts, beech and oaks, many of which have been here for centuries. During spring, the woodland floors are carpeted with a spectacular display of bluebells.
Our rangers are experts in the plants and wildlife of Bryngarw and are available to tell you more about what you can see here. Look out for special nature trails, guided walks and other events – and if you want to get more involved, learn how to become a volunteer.
Whatever your level of fitness, we’ve got the walk for you. You can follow your nose or stick to one of our pre-set routes. There are four distinct areas of the park to enjoy: woodland; grasslands; Oriental Garden; and wetlands.
A great way to discover the flora and fauna of Bryngarw Country Park is to follow one of our nature walks. We have three waymarked routes, each of which takes you through a different habitat. Look for the colour banded posts and follow red for the Meadow Meander, green for the Woodland Walk and blue for the Riverside Ramble.Find out more
Zip along the Garw Valley Community Route, which runs for about eight miles from Bryngarw Country Park to Blaengarw.