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Blaengwrach and Glynneath West

The SSSI Cwm Gwrelych and Nant Llyn Fach Streams is designated for its geological features as the best sequence of Westphalian rocks in the South Wales Coalfield. The other SSSI, Craig y Llyn (mostly in RCT) is designated for its standing water supporting aquatic plants typical of low nutrient lakes and plant communities associated with screes and upland cliff ledges. WTSWW manage Llyn Fach within the SSSI. There are a number of SINCs in the ward. The Resolven Minewater Treatment Area OMH is designated for its ancient woodland and open mosaic habitat. The Rheola Borrow Pits Grassland is a species rich, lowland meadow. Morfa Glas is a mixture of species rich grasslands. Selar SINC was established in 1994 to mitigate the loss of Selar Farm SSSI to the open cast coal site and includes translocated grasslands – rush pasture, unimproved acid and neutral – together with Purple moor-grass mire, heathland and broad leaved wooded ravines. Part of the Lamb and Flag SINC which is designated for a number of habitat types. Some of the ward is in a BLine. The conifer plantations are surprisingly rich in biodiversity, particularly in the remnant habitats between the coupes, such as heathland, willow scrub and peatbog.

The SSSI Craig y Llyn contains montane species such as Wilson’s filmy fern, Fir clubmoss and Cowberry. Llyn Fach contains Water lobelia – its southernmost British location. Recently a population of Water voles have been discovered here. Away from these protected sites the waterways are important for Kingfisher, Otter and bats. The plantations are home to birds such as Crossbill, Siskin and Goldfinch.


  1. The Wildlife Trust manage Llyn Fach within the SSSI and volunteer help is sometimes required here.
  2. Encourage people to learn about the biodiversity within the conifer plantations
  3. Encourage landowners to manage land sensitively to nature. Some may wish to join the local Meadows Group, contact the team to find out more.