Pwll Waun Cynon
Pwll Waun Cynon Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve, Mountain Ash (Main entrance: ST035998 Site centre: ST034997) is situated in an area that was previously known as one of the most polluted parts of the UK partly as a result of the adjacent Phurnacite plant.
Read more about the history of this interesting location in this detailed report.
The site itself has changed dramatically over the past 100 or so years. An oxbow from the Cynon detached and formed a pond (possibly the last natural pond to be found in the Cynon Valley), an Alder woodland flooded, becoming a water meadow, the Cynon was diverted to allow for a new road, a railway line was constructed and deconstructed and the huge impact of the Phurnacite plant next door.
Mary and colleagues (including Alex Coxhead, Bernard Curtis, Nigel Ajax-Lewis, Diana Phillips, Geoffrey Raum, Joan Raum and Ceri Williams) visited the site many times in the 1980s and 90s and found many interesting species and habitats.
The plant closed in the late 1980s and Lord Aberdare generously gave the reserve to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) in November 1986. Over the past few years the Wildlife Trust has been working hard to restore the site back to good health and great progress has been made - read about when the project re-visited the site in 2016.