Ynys Hir Wildlife Reserve

Ynys Hir Wildlife Reserve, Machynlleth: Hours, Address, Ynys Hir Wildlife Reserve Reviews: 4.5/5

Ynys Hir Wildlife Reserve
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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4.5
199 reviews
Excellent
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10
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Terrible
3

margie54Northants
Northants UK244 contributions
Tranquil reserve
Jul 2021
A beautiful reserve, very tranquil. Nice woodland walks and a pleasant boardwalk through the wetlands. A lovely morning.
Written July 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Katezy
St. Neots, UK14 contributions
Will visit again. Lovely place.
Jun 2021 • Couples
Beautiful place woodland walks, bird hides a-plenty, lots of wildlife, interesting board walk through wetlands will go again. Perfect day.
Written June 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AlinaRC
Hertfordshire986 contributions
Pleasant walk but birds very distant
May 2021
I have mixed views after a late May 2021 visit to Ynys Hir.

Like a lot of places the rules have changed with Covid. It is quite a faff buying an entry ticket on arrival and having the one way system and rules explained (you don't pre-book). Three of the hides are open. You need to wear a mask inside which for me did no go so well as my binocuars kept steaming up. You can also only enter as two/ three adults or one family group. It wasn't busy the day we visited but still quite a bit of waiting. Given they are very well ventilated it did feel especially cautious.

There are two loops to walk around. If you leave the visitors reception and turn right you follow the blue, saltmarsh route. This walks through some pleasant woodland and then overlooks a pool and some smaller wetland areas. There was not a great deal of action on the pool - heron, tufted duck, swan, mallards, gadwall and Canada geese. Lots of Canada geese. You then walk back behind an embankment with the pools you have looked down on on one side and the estuary on the other. There are no real views across either on this stretch. We have recently got a new app called Warblr. This is great for helping to spot smaller birds and identify them. On this stretch it recognised a garden warbler and with patience we got a good view.

I'd not visited for about 15 years and the trails had been substantially changed to remove an area of conifer woodland and rhododendon and replace it with a raised bog. There are now long areas of boardwalk over what should be a raised bog. A display board explains the conservation work. It did however seem to be very quickly converting back to a mixture of birch and willow wet woodland rather than raised bog... it didn't seem like this was intended. The boardwalk is easy to walk on and no tricky sections under foot. At the Ynys Feung hide you have some views over the marshland and to the very distant estuary beyond. I had good binoculars with me and could see very little at that distance. The only things big enough to make out were the shellduck. You would need a telescope to be able to pick anything else out. The app again came into its own and as we were leaving the hide it helped us spot a Cetti's warbler in the willows, a bit like a large wren.

You then return to the vistors centre through an area of oak woodland (the green trails on the map). This is all quite pleasant with wild flowers including bluebells, stitchwort and campions. There is a hide in the woodland from which we saw very little, other than a robin and bluetit.

Its pleasant enough walk but for a walk in some woodlands, there are lots of them and you don't need to pay £6. For experienced bird watchers who can wait patiently for a warbler or have a telescope it could be rewarding. But for people who quite like bird watching and are novices/ intermediate it does not have a lot to offer. Frustratingly you don't get any views of the wading birds on the estuary, they are all too far away. You also don't get good views of the woodland birds without any feeders to encourage them. The least RSPB could do is to put up a feeder around the entrance area and at the woodland hide to help visitors get better views.

The reserve is on the main road between Machynlleth and Aberystwyth. It is down a narrow lane with a large parking area and toilets. The single lane access road is shared with a hotel and can be a bodge when guests are leaving/arriving. The signage and website describe a cafe. There isn't a cafe. The same person who is selling entry and explaining the route and restrictions will sell pre-packaged snacks/ cakes and make a coffee. There are several picnic tables outside with a good view over the pools. This is actually one of the best sites to see birds on the reserve! The information on arrival was confusing, with one poster showing all the hides closed while another shows that three are open. The website is very patchy in being updated with many sections years old - recent sightings.
Written June 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

caroline P
Sevenoaks, UK13 contributions
Route march between high embankments
Sep 2020
We did the salt marsh walk. The birds are very well protected from visitors as you walk between high embankments and can only see the water if you scramble up muddy slopes to peer over. Felt like a pleasant route march, certainly not a bird spotting opportunity.
Written September 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cainfenton
3 contributions
Nor recommend
Sep 2020
Extremely overpriced if you are not a member. We would not go back and would not recommend to friends. They might be charity but that does not give them license to charge ridiculous fees, if they only want members they should be honest and say so.
Written September 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Debbie R
Leeds, UK169 contributions
Adapted well to Covid
Jul 2020 • Couples
The staff here have worked hard to ensure the reserve can maintain social distancing. One way systems have been put in place in order to enable you to explore the whole of the reserve whilst still social distancing. Two separate loops mean that you can choose a short or long walk. We did not see a lot of bird life but the walk takes you through a lot of different habitat, including ponds where dragonflies breed. I can imagine at the right time of year this would be a great place to see waders, there were a lot of geese around even now. The views across the estuary to Snowdonia are stunning. This may be your best chance to see osprey, which can be seen flying along the estuary sometimes, given that the osprey project is currently closed to visitors.
Written July 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mum2bjlto
Barnoldswick, UK16 contributions
Oh Dear
Oct 2019 • Family
Really would love to give this place 5 stars. The scenery was amazing. The accessibility was awful! I can walk a little way on crutches but use a wheelchair for any distance. The paths were not wheelchair friendly. Despite the beautiful scenery I could only get to one hide. I have been to other rspb sites and they have been much better. I am an rspb member. This site needs something doing with the paths or a vehicle that can be hired that can handle them. My advice would be not to visit if you have any mobility problem. Wish I had read TripAdvisor before we went.
Written October 22, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kew1945@aol.com
110 contributions
Afternoon visit
Mar 2019
It was back in the 1980s when we first visited Ynys Hir and then we saw for the very first time greenshank and red kite in the area. Before we set off to explore this very large reserve again we found the staff at the entrance friendly and helpful. After previous weeks of rain parts were very wet underfoot so be warned do take suitable footwear.
Even though several of the hides were closed as was part of the reserve we spent the whole afternoon watching the geese on the estuary, wildfowl on the pools and treecreepers on the way back to the carpark. All in all an excellent return visit.
Written October 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Philip H
Reading, UK87 contributions
Hot Summers day
Jul 2019 • Solo
Visited for first time. The staff were knowledgeable and welcoming. The routes are very well signposted and paths kept clear. The different habitats are interesting as is the information provided about them. It was quite quiet on the bird front due to the heat, time of day and time of year, but hope to visit again later in the year. Still saw some interesting birds and the setting of the reserve is very peaceful. Keep up the great conservation work!
Written July 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Broaden Your Horizons
Walsall, UK329 contributions
A long overdue return visit
Jun 2019 • Family
We decided to pay a return visit to Ynys Hir before going home from a short break in Mid Wales. I quickly found out how much of the reserve we hadn't explored on earlier visits. It would be quite easy to spend all day here but we just did the Wetland trail and the walk back through the woodland. This took a couple of hours or so including a break in the hide. It was lovely to see the Pied Flycatchers feeding their young in the nestboxes and several lizards along the boardwalk.
Written June 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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