In Dare Valley Country Park, you will find the most southerly Glacial Cwms in the British Isles.
You'd have to travel thousands of miles further South, to the Pyrenees and Alps mountain ranges, before you found other such examples.
Just as dramatic as its glacial mountains and crags are the wide, open spaces of meadows, woodland, moorland and cliffs.
You can explore Tarren Y Bwlffa (and its sister Craig Yr Esgol) on our marked walks.
Because it remains a tall, sunless face of frost-battered rock, the Bwllfa is home to Artic alpine plants, fern and moss.
It is said to be one of the quitest places in the South Wales Valleys!
From the swallows and house sparrows that nest in the courtyard to the peregrine falcons that hunt from the heights, this is a bird watcher's paradise.
You can watch the bird table from the visitor centre, spot the nest boxes in the wood or take your binoculars to the viewing platform. Peregrines and ravens nest in the Aspen and Rowan trees that cling to its rock faces, two viewing platforms have been constructed, allowing visitors to observe the Peregrine falcons.
Listen for the call of the cuckoo over the cwm or glimpse the colourful flash of the kingfisher by the stream.
There are songbirds, waterbirds and birds of prey, common blackbirds and rare ring ouzels. It's a great place for beginner bird watchers and for expert twitchers.
Whether you are interested in trees or flowers, lichens or fungi, lizards or slowworms, spiders or sticklebacks, moths or butterflies, bats or bumblebees; they're all here. Special treats for naturalists include a trio of butterflies: small pearl bordered fritillary, purple hairstreak and grayling and the lichen heath on the undisturbed coal spoil.
A rich patchwork of woodland, ranging from forests that survived coal mining to recent woodland that was planted to help heal Mother Nature after decades of industry, can be explored.
Ancient woodland lines the approach roads into the country park and support carpets of bluebells and luxurious ferns. Butterflies and songbirds flock to this long-standing canopy.
Dare Valley Country Park is also the home of many meadows which are important areas for wildlife where birds, insects and wildflowers thrive.
Traditionally wet meadows would have been grazed to encourage more diverse species of plants and animals. Some areas of DVCP are grazed by cattle during the summer so please remember to close the gates behind you, keep your dog under control and walk safely away from them.
Other meadows are managed as hay cuts using machinery. This is where the grass is cut once a year (in late summer) and collected to encourage more wildflowers to come through next year.
Look out for wildlife
Things to look at and listen out for in Dare Valley Country Park
- Spring - dozen of different bird songs (including cuckoo), nesting peregrines, orange tip and small pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies, bluebells and cuckoo flower.
- Summer - young moorhen, little grebe and coot on the lakes, dragonflies, grayling and purple hairstreak butterflies, heath spotted and southern marsh orchid.
- Autumn - waxcaps in the meadows, lichen-heath on the twin tips, ring ouzels in rowan trees.
- Winter - wintering ducks on the lakes, flocks of redwing and fieldfare, small birds on the Centres bird feeders, winter visiting hen harrier, goshawk and merlin.
We are always interested in what you see. You may even see something no one has noticed before. Why not let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more about the biodiversity in RCT by visiting our website