National Nature Reserve

What is an NNR?

Deadwood provides an ideal habitat © Sophie Thomas

Deadwood provides an ideal habitat

NNR stands for National Nature Researve and we're proud to say that Dinefwr is the only designated parkland NNR in the whole of Wales because our woodland is home to some of the oldest trees in Britain.

When our trees fall, the deadwood provides an ideal habitat for the Dinefwr wildlife.

Five football pitches

Expore th Bogwood Boardwalk © National Trust

Expore th Bogwood Boardwalk

That’s how long this boardwalk is  - at 500 metres. It was first built in 1993 by a group of staff and volunteers. After many years of use it was rebuilt in 2010, with benches added.

It means that you're able to explore this bogwood without wearing waders.

This pond isn't natural

Otters have been spotted at the Millpond © National Trust

Otters have been spotted at the Millpond

Early 19th-century Dinefwr required a ready source of water, so a dam was built across the small stream. The dam flooded this shallow basin valley and the result was this wonderful pond-life habitat.

Living monuments

Gnarled oaks in the National Nature Reserve at Dinefwr © National Trust

Gnarled oaks in the National Nature Reserve at Dinefwr

We've 300 oak trees that are more than 400 years old.

It's unlikely that you'll find anywhere else in Wales that has so many ancient trees, and is one of the main reasons why Dinefwr is such a special place for wildlife and was awarded National Nature Reserve (NNR) status in 2007.

Master of all you can see

Dinefwr Park © Keith Morris

Dinefwr Park

What a splendid spot to show off our parkland.

This hilltop feature was designed by George and Cecil Rice (second Lord Dynevor) during the 18th century, and promoted by landscape designer Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

What on earth are those bumps?

White Park cattle graze amongst the ant hills in the deer park © National Trust

White Park cattle graze amongst the ant hills in the deer park

They're actually ant hills.

This hillside has one of the largest numbers of Yellow Meadow ant (Lasius flavus) mounds in Wales.

This type of ant rarely comes above ground, but does ‘herd’ aphids underground who feed on the roots of grasses and plants.

Hay-making while the sun shines

There are many hay meadows on the Dinefwr estate. Every year we cut and and bail our own hay and feed it to our cattle during the winter months.

Conservation grazing

We have a dedicated team of staff and volunteers who help maintain our NNR; but our best conservationists are our White Park Cattle.

A very special site

Spot a chaser flying on our National Nature Reserve

As well as being the only parkland National Nature Reserve in Wales, Dinefwr Park is also a SSSI- Site of Special Scientific Interest. This means we have important wildlife and habitats which must be protected.

What animals might you see at Dinefwr?

  •  © Vaughan Thomas

    The silent hunter

    A heron uses stealth and speed when hunting and will wait silently in the water for unwary fish.

  • look out for toads on the banks of the millpond © Vaughan Thomas

    Mr Toad says hello

    A toad's skin is rough and warty and it moves a lot slower than a frog so you can really get up close.

  • Spot these colourful insects around the millpond © Vaughan Thomas

    Freshwater dragons

    Dragonflies are four-winged, fast-flying insects with long bodies and enormous eyes.


  •  © Vaughan Thomas

    The elusive otter

    The elusive otters glide silently through the water and hide in the vegetation until safe to venture out.

Outdoor learning

We offer fantastic outdoor learning opportunities here at Dinefwr. Our learning team has welcomed over 20,000 children and young learners on school trips to Dinefwr catering for pupils across the curriculum.