Features of the Gwent Levels

Features of the Gwent Levels covers the characteristic wildlife of this special place, including birds, butterflies, moths, dragonflies and wildflowers.

The Gwent Levels in South Wales form an iconic landscape of international significance. Reclaimed from the sea from Roman times onwards, the Gwent Levels are a criss-crossed network of fertile fields and historic watercourses, known locally as reens.

Sandwiched between the vast Severn Estuary and the extensive urban areas of Cardiff and Newport, the landscape may at first appear to be flat, empty and uninteresting. But first impressions can be misleading. Large flocks of birds visit the coastal mud flats and wetlands, attracted by a rich food supply. Rare plants, invertebrates and mammals are found in the reens and ditches behind the sea wall. Although there are vibrant cities around the edge, Gwent Levels retain a strong sense of tranquility, remoteness and wildness, especially in winter.

The flat landscape of the Levels makes it ideal for exploring by foot or on bike via a network of footpaths, bridleways, green lanes, quiet country roads and sections of the Wales Coast Path.

The guide was produced in partnership by the Living Levels Partnership.