POWYS is famous for its lakes, waterfalls and rivers.
However, it is also home to several popular forests that have developed alongside communities for centuries.
Some forests have even led to the creation of new settlements.
The County Times shares three popular forests in the Powys.
If you venture into any of these forests this summer, be sure to leave them as you found them.
Share your photos with the County Times Camera Club via Facebook.
Forest of Dyfant
Forest of Dyfnant. Photo by Oliver Dixon / Wiki.
Dyfnant Forest lies between the valleys of Afon Twrch to the west and Afon Efyrnwy to the east, north of the village of Llangadfan.
It is described by Lonely Planet as being “where a well-marked maze of forest tracks culminates in a huge hill before descending quite dramatically to Lake Vyrnwy”.
Dyfnant Forest has an area of 6000 acres located on the outskirts of the Cambrian Mountains just south of Lake Vyrnwy.
The forest is a large working forest, composed mostly of conifers with pockets of native deciduous trees and a rich growth of mixed plantations including conifers such as cypress, western red cedar, lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir, Norway spruce and fir, as well as deciduous trees.
Within the forest, Dyfnant Meadows covers a small area of 23 acres, which is mostly open land.
This meadow continues to be used as hill pasture for sheep and cattle.
Outside the meadow, the flora includes the daisy and the daisy, and in the peat bog areas, the leaf beetle, the lousewort, the rush and the meadowsweet; wetlands have sedges and rushes; wooded areas include sessile oak, moss, lichen, and fern.
Notable bird species in the forest include Northern Goshawks, Crossbills, and Black Grouse.
Forest of Hafren. Image: Wikipedia.
The forest covers approximately 15 square miles and consists mostly of pine and spruce trees.
It takes its name from the Afon Hafren – Welsh for River Severn – which rises in a deep bog about 800 meters outside the western edge of the forest, on the slopes of Pumlumon, the highest mountain in the central Wales.
The forest was planted in 1937 and is also home to the Bronze Age copper and lead mines, Nant an Eira and Nant an Rickett.
Although the farms were not neglected, they could not provide enough housing for forestry workers in this sparsely populated region.
In 1948, the Forestry Commission decided to build a village near Staylittle, to house the forest workers.
They employed a prominent architect, T. Alwyn Lloyd of Cardiff, to produce the plans for a village which would eventually include 80 houses, a village store, a school and a village hall.
Construction began in 1949, with the first houses occupied in 1951. The water supply to the village, known as Llwyn-y-gog (or Llwynygog), was provided by damming a nearby stream.
Mynydd Fforest. Photo by Philip Halling / geographer.
The “Wooded Mountain” is a hill about three kilometers northwest of Llyswen and rises 1,312 feet from the lower slopes of the Epynt.
As the name suggests, the hill was covered in trees at one point, but like many hills across the country, deforestation has taken place.
The coniferous plantations that border the Mynydd Fforest have allowed the rooting of some European larches and Sitka spruces.
Besides vast expanses of heathland, small areas of Mynydd Forest have been taken over by native trees, such as rowan, sessile oak, holly, hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn and ash.
There are many springs and marshes that are home to newts, frogs and toads. Many species of birds nest in ferns as well, the lark in particular. Buzzards and red kites were seen circling the hill on several occasions.
Due to the springs and tributaries crossing the trails at different places, there are a few fords along the way.
There are still sheep grazing in Mynydd Forest and the ferns are cut from August to November to be used as litter for livestock during the winter.