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Caerphilly County Borough

Wheatear Oenanthe deserti ©Chris Thomas

Caerphilly (Welsh: Caerffili) is a county borough in southern Wales, straddling the ancient county boundary between Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. Its main and largest town is Caerphilly. Other towns in the county borough are Bedwas, Risca, Ystrad Mynach, Newbridge, Blackwood, Bargoed, New Tredegar and Rhymney. It is bordered by Cardiff to the southwest, Newport to the southeast, Torfaen to the east, Blaenau Gwent to the northeast, Powys to the north, Merthyr Tydfil to the northwest and Rhondda Cynon Taf to the west.

The northern part of the borough is formed by the broad expanse of the Rhymney Valley. The Rhymney River rises in the hills in the north and flows southwards for about thirty miles, looping round to the east just to the north of Caerphilly, the largest town in the borough, before reaching the Bristol Channel.

Over three-quarters of the county borough is countryside; that's meadows, rivers, farmland, woods, commons and ponds and much more. And with three quarters of the county covered in woods, farmland, commons and country parks there's plenty of wildlife to be discovered. Bluebell-carpeted woods alive with the sounds of songbirds, special places for rare butterflies and warm summertime hay meadows buzzing with bees are all out there waiting to be explored.

These include: Aberbargoed Grasslands, Bedwas Riverside Park, Cwmllywdrew Meadows, Flatwoods Meadows, Graig Goch Memorial Park and Penallta Marsh.

Top Sites

Sirhowy Valley Country Park


Satellite View

Sirhowy Valley Country Park for woodland birds, Mynydd Maen ST260970 (pronounce the y as in but, southern English accent, dd is th) and Mynydd Garn clochdy SO2805 for moor-land species: possibilities include Merlin, whinchat, Wheatear, meadow pipit, skylark, tree pipit

County Recorder

Philip Bristow - East Glamorgan County Recorder

2 Forest Oak Close, Cyncoed, Cardiff CF23 6QN

07769 973 890


Tom Chinnick

School House, Llandenny, Usk NP15 1DL


Useful Reading

Birds of Glamorgan

Clive Hurford & Peter Lansdown CNS/CCW 1995

ISBN: 1872808344

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Gwent

by Andrew Baker Helm 2007

ISBN: 0713676337

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Glamorgan Bird Report

Editor, John D. Wilson email: john_wilson@glamorganbirds.org.uk

Gwent Bird Report

…available from Jerry Lewis, Y Bwthyn Gwyn, Coldbrooke, Abergavenny NP7 9TD

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.


Glamorgan Bird Club


Glamorgan Rarities Committee


Gwent Ornithological Society


TJ Russell, The Pines, Highfield Road, Monmouth, Gwent NP5 3HP 01600 716266 - Home Page for the Gwent Ornithological Society (GOS) now up and running with news, the latest newsletter, meetings dates, links and more…

Gwent Wildlife Trust


Gwent covers the lower Wye and Usk river valleys and the Severn Estuary in South East Wales. In the last fifty years Gwent has lost two thirds of its ancient woodland and the lowlands surrounding the Severn Estuary are threatened by industrial development…


Caerphilly Woodlands


Satellite View

A voluntary group who manage the woodland area on Caerphilly Mountain for the people of Caerphilly. They meet every sunday and have lots of fun planting trees, digging ponds and much more! Tools are provided and there is usually a cup of tea at the end of each session! Dogs are welcome. Good for buzzards and owls…

Flatwoods Meadows, Crosskeys


Satellite View

These old hay meadows have been rescued from a bracken invasion. They are species rich. Grasslands like these becoming less common across the UK. Careful management of this Local Nature Reserve has allowed the wildflowers to flourish and these in turn provide food for insects, birds and mammals.

Graig Goch Woodland, Cwmfelinfach


Satellite View

Graig Goch is an ancient oak and beech woodland set in the Sirhowy Valley Country Park. The best time to visit is in the springtime when the woodland floor is carpeted with Bluebells. Springtime also brings the woods alive with birdsong; redstarts, flycatchers and warblers can all be heard as they look for a mate.