Know before you go
Grazing animalsWelsh mountain ponies
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.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitAll year
About the reserve
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.