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Merthyr Tydfil County Borough

Red Kite Milvus milvus ©Chris Thomas Website

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough (Welsh: Merthyr Tudful) has been one of the 22 unitary authorities in Wales since 1 April 1996 (though the area was originally granted county borough status in 1908). Merthyr Tydfil County Borough today has a population of 59,000. It is located in the historic county of Glamorgan and takes its name from Merthyr Tydfil town. The County Borough consists of the northern part of the Taff Valley and the smaller neighbouring Taff Bargoed Valley.

It is located in a South Wales Valleys environment overlapping into the south of the Brecon Beacons National Park, and this, along with the area's rich history, means it has huge potential for tourism in Wales. The Fforest Fawr Geopark, designated in 2005 in respect of the area's outstanding geological and cultural heritage, also falls within the northern border of Merthyr Tydfil.

There is about 2889 ha of open common land within Merthyr Tydfil. The Taf Fechan Reserve situated in Cefn Coed and a second reserve, Pontygwaith which is privately owned lies in the southern end on the Borough. Penmoelallt Community Woodland and Cilsanws Nature Reserve are managed by the Merthyr Tydfil & District Naturalists Society, and work with the community and Forestry Commission to conserve and promote the natural environment.

County Recorder

Philip Bristow - East Glamorgan County Recorder

2 Forest Oak Close, Cyncoed, Cardiff CF23 6QN

07769 973890


Useful Reading

Birds of Gwent

by Andrew Baker Helm 2007

ISBN: 0713676337

Buy this book from NHBS.com

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 & Gower Ornithological Society


The Glamorgan Birds Website, a joint venture between the Glamorgan Bird Club and Gower Ornithological Society. The main function of these bodies is to produce the annual bird reports for the East and West of the county of Glamorgan. This website features a number of online services aimed at making your birding in Glamorgan much easier. There are links to a number of pages that will be useful to anyone with an interest in birds, from the casual birdwatcher to the keenest of birders…

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…


Cilsanws Nature Reserve


Satellite View

Larches and Scots Pine grow along the Western margins of the reserve, with more unusual rowan or mountain ash trees springing up on the higher ground. The Rowans attract species such as thrush, starlings and blackbirds, and swifts, swallows, house-martins, buzzards and kestrels are commonly present. If you are lucky, you may catch a glimpse of a peregrine flying by.

Taf Fechan Nature Reserve


Satellite View

Ancient broadleaved woodlands, calcareous grasslands, river, and cliffs. The river has eroded the limestone into a narrow gorge in the centre of the site. A mosaic of deciduous woodland on the slopes with a canopy of Beech, Birch and Ash, gives way to Alder and Grey Willow closer to the river, together with Hawthorn scrub, calcareous grassland, heathland, wet flushes, and tufa formations. The valley is one of the best recorded sites for bryophytes in Glamorgan. The woodland attracts a variety of birds such as Tawny Owl, Buzzard, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Nuthatch, and Treecreeper, while Dipper and Grey Wagtail are frequently seen, and breed, on the river Taff Fechan.


3 Valleys Birding


Covering Cynon Valley ( Aberdare & Mountain Ash ), Merthyr Tydfil and the Pontypridd area north west of Cardiff…