Butterflies of Welshmoor

Walking trail

Walk through Welshmoor, a hidden paradise for wildlife. Over the years, within this protected area, more than 25 different species of butterflies have been seen. It’s one of the most reliable locations in Europe to see the very rare Marsh Fritillary and the more common, but equally stunning, Green Hairstreak.

Handy hints for your walk

You’ll be walking through a wet heath habitat. Conditions underfoot can be quite boggy in places, sturdy walking boots or wellingtons are recommended. There are no well-marked paths, although fairly easy progress can be made by following the desire lines left by grazing livestock. Due to the grazing animals, please keep dogs on leads under close control at all times. Weather conditions play a very big part in the chances of seeing butterflies; sunny warm days with little or no wind are ideal when planning to visit. For species such as the Marsh Fritillary that have very short flying seasons timing the visit is important. More information on timing can be found within each step.

Walk at Welshmoor, Gower


Map for the Butterflies of Welshmoor Walk


Welshmoor car park (Grid ref SS51924)


Starting at the parking area walk 100m south to the edge of the moor where the trees mark the boundary. Search along the edge of the trees and scrub for passing butterflies.

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Walk away from boundary in an ENE direction into the moor for roughly 100m. This area is a Marsh Fritillary hotspot.

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Marsh Fritillary at Welshmoor, Gower


Next walk in an ESE direction for 150m towards the edge of the moor again. Look out for a clearing that runs behind a thin line of trees. This is a Green Hairstreak hotspot.

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Green Hairstreak at Welshmoor, Gower


From the clearing, walk in a NE direction for 125m until it starts to become quite wet underfoot on approach to a runnel. Marsh Thistle, a pollinators best friend, is found here.

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Next walk north for 50m to the top of a ridge. This track runs east to west through the moor. Following the track west for 375m will end back at the parking area.

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Welshmoor car park (Grid ref SS515924)

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Butterflies of Welshmoor


This site is a wet heath habitat which can be boggy in places. The vegetation is a mixture of heather, gorse, bramble and bracken which can make the going awkward in places. Livestock may be encountered throughout the year, please keep dogs on leads and under close control at all times. 

Butterflies of Welshmoor

How to get here

Welshmoor car park
By road

From junction with B4295 at Llanrhidian follow B4271 east for 450m then take road signed to Welshmoor on left for 1.5km to parking area

Butterflies of Welshmoor

Facilities and access

  • Rough, grassy parking area
  • No toilets