The Wardens’ Blog – Cwmystwyth Mines, Elan Valley, Rhayader and Gigrin Farm Red Kite Feeding Centre

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The Wardens’ Blog – Cwmystwyth Mines, Elan Valley, Rhayader and Gigrin Farm Red Kite Feeding Centre

Earlier in the season, we spent a day travelling to Rhayader through the Elan Valley. Well worth taking the longer route through the mountains passing the haunting Cwmystwyth Mines (stopping to explore and take some photos).

The scenery in the valley is out of this world, changing at every turn and really quite dramatic. The dams are huge and a feat of engineering, and whilst we didn’t stop this time we hear the Visitors’ Centre is full of information and history of the area and the dams.

We then headed on into Rhayader, a lovely little town with a few gift shops and cafes (and pubs too!). After a yummy lunch at The Old Swans Tea Rooms, we decided to visit the nearby Red Kite feeding centre.

Having already been to Nant Yr Arian, we were curious to see how it compared. Gigrin Farm is in fact a Rehabilitation Centre in conjunction with The Welsh Kite Trust which allows kites that have fallen ill or been injured to recuperate after having any required veterinary care. So whilst the entry fee is a little higher than you might expect compared to Nant Yr Arian, it all goes to a very worthwhile cause and is worth it for the super close up views of the Red Kites whilst they feed. There are several hides which are top notch, with separate levels for professional photographers to hire out, and are extremely close to the action! There are usually around 300 – 400 birds that drop by for afternoon tea (3pm BST, 2 pm in Winter or GMT) and it is incredibly spectacular. A couple of buzzards try to join in, making for interesting viewing. Although the star of the show turned out to be a male peacock who was intent on stealing the limelight and paraded up and down in front of the cameras demanding to be seen over the kites!

It was a great day, jam packed, and we definitely want to go back through the Elan Valley to see it at different times of the year but also to explore further!


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