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Dyfi Biosphere

You may not have heard of the Dyfi Biosphere. Possibly because it’s the first biosphere in Wales and one of only three in the entire British Isles.


But you’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the future. 


So what exactly is a biosphere? Better ask UNESCO, who decide these things by very strict rules indeed.


They’re not just looking for one of the world’s finest wildlife-rich landscapes. Local people have to care about it and want to conserve it. And they need to have big new ideas about how to create a more sustainable future.


The Dyfi part is rather easier to explain. It refers to the River Dyfi that flows from the mountains of southern Snowdonia all the way to the seaside resort of Aberdyfi.


Our biosphere covers award-winning sandy beaches to the west, dense untamed forests to the north, mudflats and wetlands to the south and the Cambrian Mountains to the east.


It’s a haven for wildlife. Including perhaps the most famous bird in Wales: Monty of the Dyfi Osprey Project at Cors Dyfi nature reserve.


It’s a test bed for the future. Boffins at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth are pioneering more sustainable ways of living.


And it’s one vast, environmentally friendly playground. The Wales Coast Path and Glyndwr’s Way both pass through. The terrain is perfect for mountain biking. You can even curl up at the end of the day in “eco pods” high up in the tree canopy.

A day of historic churches, hidden history and nature at its best.




Machynlleth is the town of alternative reality. More than 600 years ago it offered a powerful vision of what an independent Wales might look like.


Today as the spiritual home of Britain's eco-movement and the actual home of the Centre for Alternative Technology, it's leading the whole world towards a different and less destructive way of life.


This little town near the west Wales coastline occupies a big place in Welsh history. It was at Machynlleth in 1404 that Owain Glyndwr called his first parliament, crowned himself Prince of Wales and laid out plans for a free Welsh nation with its own church, universities and laws.



Machynlleth is at the junction of the A487 and the A489. It's 16 miles south of Dolgellau, 18 miles north-east of Aberystwyth and 38 miles west of Welshpool. Arriva Trains Wales provide rail services to Birmingham, Aberystwyth, Barmouth and Pwllheli. Regular buses run to Aberystwyth, Dolgellau, Newtown and Bangor.

Tourist Information Centre


Welshpool Tourist Information Centre, Vicarage Gardens Car Park, Church Street, Welshpool SY21 7DD


01938 552043

For more information about Machynlleth please download our pdf or visit:

About Machynlleth

Needless to say this didn’t go down too well with King Henry IV, who vowed to crush this chal- lenge to English power. Within a few years Owain was a fugitive and, after one last daring raid at Brecon in 1412, he disappeared altogether.

No one knows for sure what happened to him. Despite enormous rewards he was never cap-tured or betrayed. He became a semi-mythic figure – second in a poll of “100 Welsh Heroes”behind only Nye Bevan. (Tom Jones came third, if you must know.)

The Grade I-listed Parliament House on Maengwyn Street isn’t quite the original building where Owain welcomed the great men of France, Scotland and Spain to his coronation. It wasprobably built a couple of generations later – but on the same spot.

Which makes it the perfect atmospheric setting for the Owain Glyndwr Centre. There you canwatch a video reconstruction of the first parliament, try on medieval costume or have a go atbrass rubbing.

And you can see a huge mural of Owain’s first victory in the field at the battle of Hyddgen. Wecan’t vouch for its accuracy though. The prince’s face bears an uncanny resemblance to local MP David Davies, who commissioned the work around 1912.