POWYS is famous for its lakes, waterfalls and rivers.

However it is also home to several popular forests which have grown alongside communities for centuries.

Some of the forests have even led to the creation of new settlements.

The County Times shares three popular Powys forests.

If you venture to any of these forests this summer, please ensure you leave them in the condition you found them.

Share your pictures with the County Times Camera Club via Facebook.

Dyfant Forest

Dyfnant Forest. Picture by Oliver Dixon/Wiki.

Dyfnant Forest. Picture by Oliver Dixon/Wiki.

Dyfnant Forest lies between the valleys of the Afon Twrch to the west and the Afon Efyrnwy to the east, north of the village of Llangadfan.

It is described by Lonely Planet as being "where a well-signposted maze of forestry tracks culminates in one enormous hill before descending rather spectacularly toward Lake Vyrnwy"

Dyfnant Forest has an area of 6,000 acres located at the periphery of the Cambrian Mountains, just south of Lake Vyrnwy.

The forest is a large working forest, of predominately coniferous trees with pockets of native deciduous trees and a rich growth of mixed plantation comprising conifers such as cypress, western red cedar, lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, Norway spruce and grand fir, as well as from deciduous trees.

Within the forest, Dyfnant Meadows spread over a small area of 23 acres, which is mainly an open land.

This grassland continues to be used as a hill pasture for sheep and cattle.

Apart from the grassland, the flora includes oxeye daisy and eye-bright, and in bog areas lady's smock, lousewort, rush and meadowsweet; wet areas have sedge and rush; wooded areas comprise sessile oak, moss, lichen and fern.

Notable bird species in the forest include goshawk, crossbills and black grouse.

Hafren Forest

Hafren Forest. Picture: Wikipedia.

Hafren Forest. Picture: Wikipedia.

The forest covers around 15 square miles, and consists mainly of pine and spruce trees.

It takes its name from the Afon Hafren - Welsh for River Severn - which rises in a deep peat bog approximately half a mile outside western boundary of the forest, high on the slopes of Pumlumon, the highest mountain in Mid Wales.

The forest was planted in 1937 and is also home to Bronze Age copper and lead mines, Nant yr Eira and Nant yr Rickett.

Although the farms were not left derelict, they could not provide enough accommodation for forest workers in this sparsely-populated area.

In 1948, the Forestry Commission decided to build a village near Staylittle, to house forestry workers.

They employed an eminent architect, T. Alwyn Lloyd of Cardiff, to produce plans for a village that would eventually comprise 80 houses, a village shop, school and hall.

Construction began in 1949, with the first houses being occupied in 1951. The water supplies for the village, known as Llwyn-y-gog (or Llwynygog), were provided by damming of a nearby stream.

Mynydd Fforest

Mynydd Fforest. Picture by Philip Halling/Geograph.

Mynydd Fforest. Picture by Philip Halling/Geograph.

The 'forested mountain' is a hill about two miles northwest of Llyswen and rises to 1,312 ft from the lower slopes of the Epynt.

As the name suggests, the hill was covered in trees at one point but like many hills across the country, deforestation took place.

Conifer plantations which border Mynydd Fforest have allowed a few European larches, and Sitka spruce to take root.

Apart from large areas of moorland, small areas of Mynydd Fforest have been re-taken by native trees, such as mountain ash, sessile oak, holly, hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn, and ash.

There are numerous springs and marshes which are home to newts, frogs, and toads. Many species of bird nest in the bracken also, the skylark especially. Buzzards and red kites have been spotted circling the hill on many occasions.

Due to the springs and tributaries crossing the paths at different points, there are a few fords along the way.

There is still sheep grazing on Mynydd Fforest and bracken is cut down during August–November to be used as bedding for livestock during the winter.