The Elan Estate is the largest single area of land owned by any of the national water companies, comprising some 10% of the total. The Estate has been managed to protect the quality and quantity of the reservoired water since 1892. The 70 square miles of moorland, bog, woodland, river and reservoir are of national importance for their diversity of lower plants and the Estate is the most important area for land birds in Wales. See our conservation page for full details of the work we do.
The Estate consists of rounded hills dissected by steep valleys, many of which are covered in deciduous woodland dominated by Sessile Oak. The better soils of the valley bottoms are now mostly submerged under the reservoirs.
The majority of the Estate is included in a Special Protection Area under the EC Directive on Wild Birds and falls within the Cambrian Mountains Environmentally Sensitive Area. In addition, over 6,000 ha of the Estate is included in three Special Areas of Conservation under the EC Habitats Directive. Almost 80% of the Estate is contained within 12 separately designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). These cover a range of habitats, from unimproved pasture and species-rich meadows to ancient woodland, upland mire and the major upland block within the boundary of the 20,000ha Elenydd SSSI.
Our wildlife page will tell you about many of the interesting plants and animals that live in the Elan Valley.
The Elan Valley Trust has issued a paper detailing the views of the Elan Valley Trust on the gathering of wild fungi. You can view this paper here.