Size:

72.03 ha (177.99 acres)

Grid reference:

SS773974

Brynau is a once-forgotten wood surrounded by bare fields that we want to transform into a vibrant haven for wildlife and the people of Wales. 

We'll be planting trees to buffer and extend its important area of ancient woodland, and Brynau will also become the latest flagship site for the Plant! project which sees a tree planted for every child born or adopted in Wales. Brynau remains closed to the public while we start this important work.

How to get to Brynau Farm

Brynau Farm is 57 hectares of land perfectly placed on rolling hills next to Gnoll Country Park. It contains a pocket of ancient wood surrounded by bare fields and sits on the edge of Neath, with views across to Swansea Bay and Mumbles lighthouse. 

While there is currently no public access to Brynau Farm, visitors to the area can visit Gnoll Country Park just next door.

Leave the M4 at junction 43 onto the A465. Follow the A465 to Neath/Castle-Nedd then follow the brown signs.

The nearest train station is in Neath, approximately two miles away.

From Neath: First Cymru 153 to Fairyland.

From Port Talbot: First Cymru X4 to Neath, First Cymru 153 to Fairyland.

From Swansea: First Cymru X5 to Neath, First Cymru 153 to Fairyland.

For more information on local public transport visit Traveline.

Facilities and access

There is currently no public access to Brynau Farm while we begin important restoration work and improve access for visitors.

Neath Port Talbot Council parking is available at Gnoll Country Park, postcode SA11 3EF. Charges apply: £2.60 half day & £3.60 full day.

The nearest toilets are at Gnoll Country Park visitor centre. For more information visit www.gnollestatecountrypark.co.uk or call 01639 635808.

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

We are still discovering the wildlife here at Brynau, and as the site develops we hope to provide havens for even more species. We expect to see plenty of birds – we’ve already met the resident barn owl! We're also hoping to find evidence of the hazel dormouse and Daubenton’s and noctule bats.

One species in particular we’ll be on the lookout for is the rare blue ground beetle (Carabus intricatus). Once thought to be extinct, it was identified in Dartmoor in 1994 but was thought to be confined to Devon. However, in 2012, bug-hunters made a shock discovery of the slug-munching beetle in Woodland Trust owned Coed Maesmelin – which is just across the valley from Brynau.

The close proximity and similar characteristics of the two woods means we are hopeful of another amazing find of Britain’s largest ground beetle.

Trees, plants and fungi

Brynau Farm has an area of ancient woodland which is carpeted by bluebells in spring. There are also veteran sessile oaks and alder coppice to be found.

Over time we'll be planting new trees to create and extend important woodland habitat. The saplings will be a mix of sessile oak, hazel and birch planted singly or in small groups to mirror the parkland wood pasture seen in the landscape at Gnoll Country Park next door. We'll also be planting in a way that maintains the viewpoints and the stunning coastal sea views in the distance.

Habitats

The mix of new woodland, ancient woodland, grassland and wood pasture at Brynau provides a mosaic of habitats that will suit a variety of different species.

We'll mange the land carefully to ensure enough open space to attract a diversity of wildlife, and we've already recruited a team of four-legged browsers to do just that. Our herd of Welsh White cattle will help keep the wood pasture short enough for wildlife to thrive.

Support us

Your support matters

This wood was secured for the future thanks to your response to an urgent appeal. Discover how you helped us bring another incredible place safely under our wing, and what the future holds for Brynau Farm.

See what we've achieved

Things to do at Brynau Farm

Tree planting events

While Brynau is currently closed to the public, we plan to hold tree planting events as circumstances and the situation with Covid-19 allow. Check our events listings for more details.  

Volunteering

Volunteering opportunities are also available at Brynau Farm.