Gower Reserves
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Priors Wood and Meadow
SS 577 938
Three Crosses
Area 17.4ha

Secondary broadleaved wet woodland and quarry. Rich mixture of ferns, mosses, liverworts and lichens, meadow flowers and butterflies.


0.5 km east of Three Crosses and 1km west of Dunvant. Parking is restricted. One should park on the roadside at Three Crosses and follow the public footpath across Fairwood Common towards Ty Gwyn (Dunvant) until reaching the reserve. There are no public rights of way within the reserve.


The reserve comprises 12.1 ha of semi-natural broadleaved woodland, small spinneys, a considerable length of hedge and 5.3 ha of meadow. There is some evidence of old mine workings.

The woodland canopy is made up of a considerable mixture of species including Sweet Chestnut, Beech, Ash, Alder, Birch, Sessile Oak, Yew, Elm and small-leaved Lime. This diversity, together with cartographic evidence which shows that the site was originally called "Prior's Meadow", suggests that the woods have arisen from natural regeneration, probably aided by Victorian planting.

A variety of interesting shrub species may be found, including Eared Willow, Creeping Willow and Alder Buckthorn. The varied ground flora is complemented by a rich mixture of ferns, mosses, liverworts and lichens, including Royal Fern. Much of the wood is very damp, with two springs arising within the reserve.

The Prior's Meadow slopes gently in a south-easterly direction and is somewhat drier than the woodland. The turf is made up of a wide range of typical meadow plants, such as Yellow-rattle, Ragged-Robin and Devil's-bit Scabious, together with a number of uncommon species such as Whorled Caraway. The meadow also contains a great variety of grasses and sedges.



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