Dinefwr's parkland

Deer at Dinefwr Park and Castle, Carmarthenshire

Dinefwr parkland, a National Nature Reserve in Carmarthenshire, is an extremely old landscape incorporating an ancient wood pasture and deer park dating back to the dark ages.

This long continuity of tree management is reflected in the richness of the flora and fauna found with the old trees. 
To walk through the ancient woodland is to step back a thousand years and glimpse what much of the countryside would have looked like at this time. The deer and the rare White Park cattle, together with broad and sturdy oaks, produced valuable material for everyday needs.
What is most striking is the amount of deadwood, both standing and lying that litters the site. This takes us back to a time even before the dark ages, when the land was covered in the ‘Wild Wood’, once a dark and impenetrable woodland. 
Most experts now believe that large portions of the wild wood were very similar in character to the wood pastures at Dinefwr. The open areas were maintained by wild herbivores such as Aurochs, the ancestor to our domestic cattle. 
These beasts would produce an open landscape with scattered individual trees that much like a wood pasture, with the dead and dying trees left to decay in situ.
A walk through Dinefwr today means plenty of fresh air, beautiful views and lots of wildlife. We encourage youngsters to enjoy the landscape with our outdoor learning programme.