enquiries@tywigateway.org.uk Parc a Gerddi yr Esgob, Abergwili, Sir Caerfyrddin SA31 2JG

Great Meadow

Soon to be open to all, this flood plain meadow formed the parkland setting of the Bishop’s Palace and is now being managed to encourage and protect rare plants and insects. When the restoration works are complete, the meadow can be reached (when not flooded) from the formal gardens via a new bridge and ramp enabling wheelchair and pushchair access.

native flora in the meadow

When we took over the site the Great Meadow (Waun Fawr) had not been farmed for conservation and as a result had a ‘species poor sward’ (not many wildflowers or many different kinds of native grasses).  The dominant grasses are Yorkshire fog, meadow foxtail, sweet vernal grass and creeping bent, with occasional creeping buttercup and silverweed, and rare clumps of soft rush and tufted hair grass.  Creeping thistle and common nettle are no more than occasional throughout but also form sparse patches around our parkland trees where broad-leaved dock is also more frequent. There is limited difference in dips and shallow drains, except the main drain running out of the southern boundary, which contains shallow standing water with silverweed, water-pepper, reed sweetgrass, floating sweetgrass, water forget-me-not, marsh bedstraw, starwort, Himalayan balsam and meadowsweet all occasional among the sward.

© Caryl Thomas

A patch of scrub to the east of this main channel contains hawthorn, elder, ash and hazel and in 2021 the hedge boundary here was laid in a traditional Carmarthenshire style to support wildlife.


Also in 2021 we took a donation of green hay from the meadows at the National Botanic Garden of Wales NNR Waun Las. This hay contained seeds of a variety of native wildflower species that should take well in our floodplain meadow. Fingers crossed for an abundance of flora on Waun Fawr in 2022!

© Caryl Thomas

There are three large old standard trees within the meadow: a small-leaved lime near the western corner; an ancient pedunculate oak near the centre and a horse chestnut further north-east of this. The latter has a large trunk cavity that could feasibly be used by tawny owl and the latter two, with a large amount of deadwood, are likely to support a range of invertebrates and fungi.

There are also trees along all boundaries, which lack hedges but have become tree lines with willow, sycamore, ash and wych elm.