Cardiff’s iconic reservoirs

Brought to you by Welsh Water

Woodland In Cardiff

In addition to the reservoirs and grassland, there are tracts of woodland around the site.

When Welsh Water took over the reservoir site in 2016, the woodlands had been left largely unmanaged, resulting in overgrowth and the emergence of invasive species. They were largely inaccessible.

Thanks to the Welsh Government Community Woodlands initiative and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Gwern-y-Bendy woods and part of the Rhyd-y-Pennau complex have been brought into sustainable management to help restore and enhance the habitats so they can flourish for decades to come.

Rhyd-y-Pennau Woods

This is a relatively young, damp woodland abundant in alder. It has been enhanced by removing invasive and non-native cherry laurel and reclaiming the woodland ponds.  

Part of the wood is zoned for education activities and there’s also a wildlife haven, designated as a sanctuary for nature and closed to the public to protect Cardiff’s wildlife and biodiversity. Trees with roosting potential around the ponds have been retained and log piles have been created to allow invertebrates to thrive and provide additional habitats.

Views across the wildlife haven can be seen from the lower footpath or from the top footpath of Llanishen Reservoir.

There is also a recreation area with public access and nature trails.

Gwern-y-Bendy Woods

These woodlands comprise semi-natural oak, alder and birch trees and are attached to the western side of the Llanishen Reservoir. There are areas of commercial planting but the site exhibits a ground flora indicative of ancient semi-natural woodland.

Beneath the trees, there’s a wonderful mix of woodland plants including wood anemone, bluebell, sanicle and herb paris.

Wildlife & Nature Highlights

Birds & Birdwatching

The mix of woodland, grassland and waterside habitats makes this an area rich in birdlife. Discover which birds make Lisvane & Llanishen Reservoirs their home.



The embankments of Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoir are of special interest for their significant populations of grassland fungi, particularly the rare waxcap.


Plants & Insects

Wild-flowers flourish at Lisvane & Llanishen Reservoirs, as they did in the hay meadows of earlier times, and they attract a variety of insects, particularly butterflies.


Wildlife & Nature

Lisvane & Llanishen Reservoirs forms a vital part of the green and blue infrastructure of Cardiff and has great ecological value particularly for fungi and overwintering birds.


Take Care

In order to help us protect the diversity of wildlife at Lisvane & Llanishen Reservoirs, please take care when you walk around the site.

Please use signposted trails only and keep off the grass at all times.

Please take notice of our seasonal path closures.