Croes Robert Wood
Know before you go
Parking informationThere is parking for five or six cars in the unpaved lay-by at the entrance.
There is a circular track that leads you through the woodland and along to the charcoal-producing kilns. There are other unmarked paths leading to other areas of the reserve.
The reserve is on a hillside with steep slopes and muddy paths. It is a working wood and some of the paths are very rutted due to work-vehicle access.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitAll year
About the reserve
Follow the maze of winding paths amongst the arching trees and dense carpets of woodland flowers and you’ll experience what a special place this is.
In spring, the woodland bursts into life as the trees unfurl their new leaves and the ground is covered by a thick blanket of blue, yellow and white as native bluebells, lesser celandine and wood anemones bloom. Around the trickling woodland streams, mosses and damp-loving flowers like golden-saxifrage thrive. The air is full of the songs of blackcaps and chiffchaffs, and the drumming of great spotted woodpeckers. As the weather warms, the well-lit glades fill with flowers and insects, before autumn replaces flowers with fungi. The woodland is a magnet for mammals, including brown hares, badgers and fallow deer, and is home to the rare hazel dormouse.
What we do here
Having stood on the site since at least 1600, this ancient woodland looks younger than it is as all the larger trees were felled for timber in 1982. Since passing into the care of Gwent Wildlife Trust, we are now managing the woodland to benefit wildlife, especially the hazel dormouse, a species in decline across much of Britain.
We manage the woodland using a traditional system of coppicing sections of the wood in rotation, to create a varied age and structure of the trees which, in turn, supports a diverse community of plant and animal species.
We leave some of the coppiced wood as deadwood on the woodland floor, providing an important habitat for insects, mammals and amphibians. The rest we sell locally as firewood or charcoal, produced onsite at our kilns.
From Monmouth, go south along the B4293 to Trellech. As you enter the village, take the right turn (signposted ‘Cwmcarvan). Follow this narrow road for 2km and then turn right down a lane, also signposted Cwmcarvan. Follow this steep lane downhill for approximately 500m and immediately after passing a sharp left turn you’ll see a small unpaved lay-by on the right where you can park (grid ref SO 47579 05977).
The entrance to the reserve is via a wooden gate at the lay-by.
Near the reserve
Gwent Wildlife Trust’s New Grove Meadows reserve, just north of Trellech, is a wonderful example of species-rich meadows and can be reached on foot through the woodland that stretches between both sites.
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.