Bird watching and wildlife around the hostels

This wild and largely undisturbed part of the Cambrian mountains was where red kites just survived after numbers had declined to only about 25 adults in 1960. The dramatic story of their rescue is told in the old schoolroom at the Red Kite Centre in Tregaron. Here too the native red squirrel has managed to survive and the two hostels are right in the centre of the area where the Mid Wales Red Squirrel Project is trying to save them from extinction.

Enjoy the peace as you sit outside at Dolgoch and watch the swallows skimming low over the riverside meadows, then flying back into the barn at top speed, or on the bench at Ty'n Cornel with bright coloured siskins squabbling over seeds. You might see a weasel dancing round in mad circles at twilight or bats flying among the beech trees as you stroll down the lane. See the sun light up the russet underside of a red kite as it floats silently overhead. On a wet day in Autumn notice that the colours of bracken on the hillsides are amazingly vibrant. In late May there are whole hillsides of bluebells– a strange purply blue in the sunshine.

Bird watching: goldfinches, ravens, yellowhammers, stonechats, whinchats, wheatears, dippers, brambling, big flocks of fieldfares and redwings in Autumn, jays planting acorns, woodpeckers hammering away, ring ouzel, barn owls, hen harriers and many more. There are wildlife logs at both hostels to record what you found interesting.

Along the streamsides are patches of meadowsweet, primroses in April, orchids, whorled caraway, ivy leaved bellflower; in the boggy areas look out for beautiful carnivorous butterworts and sundew; delicate harebells and bright knapweed on the hills in August; great burnet in the meadow by Dolgoch.

In parts of the valleys are pockets of sessile oak and some wonderful ancient alders. Even a single elm tree remains hidden in the valley of a small stream. Bright red rowan berries in Autumn and in the clean air the scent of crab apple and hawthorn blossom in Spring.

The West Wales Rivers trust is trying to bring back the salmon and sea trout to the river Tywi and its tributaries, especially the Afon Doethie which flows past Ty'n Cornel. Pine martens have been re-introduced nearby and there are rumours of a beaver.

RSPB Gwenffrwd-Dinas 11 miles from Dolgoch is worth a visit – riverside walk, caves and beautiful oak woodland with bluebells in Spring and pied flycatchers, etc. Cors Caron National Nature Reserve is about 12 miles from each hostel.

Over 150 species of moths have been identified around the hostels, including Scallop Shell; Devon Carpet; Puss Moth; Anomalous; Double Line; Frosted Orange; Haworth’s Minor.

  • Dolgoch


    20 beds in 3 rooms of 4, 6, 10 bunk-beds

  • Ty'n Cornel

    Ty'n Cornel

    16 beds in 2 rooms of 8 bunk-beds, also a shepherd's hut

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Dolgoch Ty'n Cornel

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Address: - Dolgoch Hostel, Tregaron, Ceredigion, SY25 6NR

Booking Manager - 01440 730226

Email -

Ty'n Cornel

Address: Ty'n Cornel Hostel, Llanddewi Brefi, Ceredigion, SY25 6PH

Booking Manager - 01980 629259

Email -