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Beacon Hill

Overlooking the picturesque village of Trellech, this reserve is a result of a heathland restoration project carried out by the Forestry Commission. The Trust is now managing the reserve to encourage the return of heathland species to secure the local future of this particularly threatened habitat.

Heathland once occupied extensive areas around Trellech, but clearance for agriculture and afforestation reduced virtually all of Gwent’s lowland heath to small fragments along tracks in conifer plantations. However, the plantations which once covered Beacon Hill have been cleared to bring back heathland, dominated by plants and animals adapted to the conditions on these nutrient-poor, acidic soils.

Two ponds have been created on the reserve. They provide water for the Welsh mountain ponies that graze the reserve, and will attract more wildlife as they become established. 

Species
The dry heath on Beacon Hillis dominated by ling heather with patches of bell heather and bilberry, along with heath bedstraw and lousewort. The heathland occurs as a mosaic with bracken along with gorse and other scrub.

The heathland attracts unusual birds such as the nightjar. Cuckoo, brambling, skylark and stonechat have also been recorded on the reserve.

Access

The reserve is gently sloping and can be accessed from the main car park after a short uphill walk. Follow the circular trail around the reserve – a path provides good access but is uneven in places.

Directions

Take the B4293 to the village of Trellech. Opposite the church in Trellech take the turning for Greenway Lane (signposted Maryland and The Narth). Follow this lane out of the village for about 1km towards the woodland until you reach a turning on your right (no signposts). Take the right turn down Beacon Road for about 500 metres, then turn left up a slope towards Beacon View Car Park. Parking is available at the car park (grid ref: SO 510 052). A short path behind the car park leads you to the reserve (grid ref: SO 515 054). An interpretation board in the car park provides information about the area.

Nearby reserves

Croes Robert Wood, New Grove Meadows and Margaret’s Wood.

What to see around the reserve

The village of Trellech – more information about Trellech is detailed in the Croes Robert Wood reserve section. Cleddon Bog is a SSSI and a remnant of Trellech Common. The picnic bench on the track outside the reserve offers spectacular views of Gwent’s mountains – the Skirrid, the Black Mountains, the Blorenge and Sugarloaf.

Species and habitats

Habitats
Heathland
Species
Heather, Bell Heather, Bracken, Gorse, Nightjar, Cuckoo, Skylark, Stonechat

Nearby nature reserves

New Grove Meadows
1 miles - Gwent Wildlife Trust
Margaret's Wood
1 miles - Gwent Wildlife Trust
Croes Robert Wood SSSI
2 miles - Gwent Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Beacon Road,Trellech
Monmouth
Gwent
Map reference
SO 515 054
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Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
28.00 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
Usk to Wye Living Landscape
Access
No

Walking information
The reserve is gently sloping and can be accessed from the main car park after a short uphill walk. Follow the circular trail around the reserve - a path provides good access but is uneven in places.
Parking
There is a signed car park off Beacon Road.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Welsh mountain ponies
Reserve manager
Gwent Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01600 740600
info@gwentwildlife.org