Know before you go
Parking informationParking is available at Beacon View Car Park (grid ref: SO 510 052).
Grazing animalsWelsh mountain ponies
Follow the circular trail around the reserve. The path provides good access but is uneven in places.
The reserve is gently sloping and can be accessed from the main car park after a short uphill walk.
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 that once covered Beacon Hill have been cleared to bring back the heathland and the specialist plants and animals that are adapted to the nutrient-poor, acidic soils of this habitat. Two ponds have been created on the reserve to provide water for the Welsh mountain ponies that graze the reserve, and will attract more wildlife as they become established.
The heathland occurs as a mosaic with bracken, gorse and other scrub. The dry heath is dominated by ling heather with patches of bell heather and bilberry, along with heath bedstraw and lousewort. It attracts unusual birds such as the nightjar, and cuckoo, brambling, skylark and stonechat have also been recorded on the reserve.
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 where you can park (grid ref: SO 510 052). A short path behind the car park leads you to the reserve (grid ref: SO 515 054).
Near the reserve
Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Croes Robert Wood, New Grove Meadows and Margaret’s Wood reserves are nearby.
The historical village of Trellech includes attractions such as 'Harold’s Stones' – three prehistoric standing stones all over 2m high. Food and drinks can be purchased at The Lion Inn.