Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Upper Melincwrt Valley

Upper Melincwrt Valley

The Lower Melincwrt Valley, near Resolven, is a well known and well visited site. It is very accessible, has an impressive, much photographed waterfall and a fairly large population of Hymenophyllum tunbrigense - on a vertical, north-facing sandstone outcrop near the river now difficult to reach and most easily viewed from the path with binoculars. However, the upper part of the valley, above the waterfall, is less well known and much of it is not very accessible, particularly when there is a lot of water running in the brook. H and I have tackled some of the easy parts but much remains unexplored as far as I am aware, particularly where it forms a deep gorge. It is so reminiscent of the Nedd Fechan, Pyrddin and Mellte Valleys, that it makes you think there must be good stuff lurking in there somewhere. Previous visits to the top of the valley, where there is another (small) waterfall, revealed a nice population of Trichocolea tomentella and riverside slabs covered in Nardia compressa.
Yesterday afternoon we tackled the accessible area shown above (vicinity of SN830015) where the rotten logs draped across the stream are plastered with Nowellia curvifolia and Scapania gracilis and some also have large amounts of Odontoschisma denudatum. The occurrence of Blepharostoma trichophyllum, frequent and overlooked though it may be, is also rather nice.

Log covered in Odontoschisma denudata Upper Melincwrt Valley

Odontoschisma denudatum, Upper Melincwrt Valley

Scapania gracilis interwoven with Blepharostoma trichophyllum, Upper Melincwrt Valley

Blepharostoma trichophyllum, Upper Melincwrt Valley


  1. Some great record for the lower section of the lower part of the Nedd catchment. Beautifully captured as always. It would be great to tackle the more tricky sections together sometime soon.

  2. Fantastic, and great photos as always!