A brand-new visitor attraction in North Cardiff is celebrating a successful opening season, welcoming over 100,000 visitors in its first nine weeks.
Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs opened to the public in July 2023 as a hub for health and wellbeing and a haven for wildlife and offers a range of water and land activities and a café with stunning views – making it a great place to visit at any time of the year.
Built in the late-19th century, Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs are a Victorian landmark – covering 110 acres of green and blue space and home to amazing flora and fauna. The site is a unique natural resource of significant ecological value, encompassing two Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for waxcap fungi and overwintering birds.
The rare waxcap fungi is one of the key factors that helped save the site from being destroyed to make way for a housing estate. Up to twenty-seven species of waxcap fungi fruiting bodies have been recorded during annual fungi surveys. The fungi can be found on the embankments of both reservoirs, and autumn is the perfect time to see them in their full glory, with November being the height of the waxcap season.
Head Ranger Owain Manuel says:
“Visitors to Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs can see a wide variety of mushrooms at different times and at different locations around the reservoirs. When we get into the height of the waxcap season in November, visitors will be able to spot them along the reservoir banks across most of the site. There should be a prevalent display of Scarlet, Crimson, Snowy, Butter, Golden, Meadow and Parrot waxcaps.
“It is important that we protect this rare and special species and the site’s SSSI status and therefore we ask visitors to keep to the paths and not to stand on grass to take pictures, so that the sensitive fruiting bodies aren’t trampled on and to prevent the underground fungal structures becoming damaged through compaction and erosion.”
Throughout the autumn a range of events take place at Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs, including Wings of Wales on Friday 3 November. Wings of Wales, the ultimate falconry experience, is a free event presented by conservation photographer and bird of prey handler Lewis Phillips. During the event, which includes flying displays at 12pm and 2pm, Lewis talks about where each species can be found, their conservations status and their behaviours. For information about events taking place at Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs visit https://lisvane-llanishen.com/events/
Over half term Lisvane & Llanishen Reservoirs have ‘Youth Watersports Taster Sessions’ available to pre book. Young adventurers will receive top-notch tuition from qualified instructors who will guide them through the basics of sailing, kayaking or paddleboarding safely on the calm waters of Llanishen Reservoir. Sessions are suitable for children from age 8-16 between 28 October and 5 November, at various times. Adult taster sessions are also available all year round. For information about water activities at Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs visit https://lisvane-llanishen.com/water-adventures/
Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs opens Monday – Sunday from 9am. During the winter months (29 October 2023 – 30 March 2024), all pedestrian entrances to the site, apart from Lisvane Road, will shut at 4pm. The Café and Visitor Centre will close at 4.30pm (Lisvane Road main gate and car park will shut at 5pm).
Over half term, the Grab & Go service on the ground floor will be open from 10am-3pm, serving a range of delicious sandwiches, cakes, snacks, and hot/cold drinks.
Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs offer room hire in brand new function rooms, for corporate meetings, training days and parties. Away day packages are also available.
Attraction Manager James Griffith said:
“It has been wonderful to see so many visitors coming to Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs over the summer months and it has already established itself as a centre for water activities including open water swimming sessions – which have been hugely popular.
“Autumn is a wonderful time to visit – with the beautiful waxcap fungi appearing and flourishing. We have now also launched our programme of events – which during the autumn includes Halloween themed sessions and the ultimate falconry experience – Wings of Wales. Any time of year is a good time to visit Lisvane and Llanishen Reservoirs and our team look forward to welcoming all visitors – new and old – this autumn.”
For information, please visit www.lisvane-llanishen.com