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Our world class facilities are available to staff, students and collaborators.

Aerial view of Llyn Brianne reservior
The land surrounding Llyn Brianne is representative of major upland land uses; sheep grazing, conifer plantations and deciduous woodland. Pic by


Llyn Brianne is an upland reservoir in the headwaters of the River Towy in central Wales. The streams feeding the reservoir vary in geology, acidification and catchment land use. The Llyn Brianne Observatory includes 14‭ ‬perennial streams‭ ‬draining individual‭ ‬catchments‭ ‬of‭ ‬15‭ ‬to‭ ‬264‭ ‬ha‭ ‬(215-410m altitude).‭ ‬These streams enable good research design with replicates of each stream type.

Experimental cascading streams set in upland countryside
Experimental cascading streams at Llyn Brianne.

Upland stream mesocosms

In 2014, with funding from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), bespoke artificial channels were installed on four contrasting Llyn Brianne streams. These cascading channels are a world class facility enabling detailed hydrochemical monitoring and a range of experimental work. The channels are representative of steep, turbulent, oligotrophic systems that support a distinct diversity of upland stream biota.

These channels have been used to research:

  • the role of organisms in controlling organic carbon flux as part of the DURESS project
  • the effects of physical and chemical drivers on the loss of eDNA
  • the impact of extreme drought on stream invertebrates.

Landowners and accommodation

We are extremely grateful to local landowners and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water who host equipment and grant access on their land.

Local accommodation for researchers can be found at The Royal Oak at Rhandirmwyn.