Cuhere Wood

Gabi Horup

Cuhere Wood has a rare and distinctive limestone flora. It lies in a secluded valley in a part of Monmouthshire well-known for its historical interest and natural beauty. Much of Cuhere Wood is dominated by planted conifers, but the western ten hectares is largely broad-leaved native trees. The reserve dates from 2008, when Trust took over the management of part of this wood from the Forestry Commission.

Location

Llanvair Discoed
Chepstow
NP16 6LU
A static map of Cuhere Wood

Know before you go

Size
10 hectares

Entry fee

No

Access

.

Dogs

No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

All year

Best time to visit

All year

About the reserve

The reserve lies between the extensive woodland of Wentwood Forest and the well-wooded Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As such, it is an important stepping stone of woodland habitat in the wider landscape, as well as being a valuable reservoir of wildlife in its own right. Species The lime-rich soils support a number of unusual plants including a large population of herb-Paris. Other specialities include spurge-laurel and bird’s-nest orchid. Unlike most flowering plants, bird’s-nest orchid has no chlorophyll, and obtains all its energy from dead vegetation. Common calamint can be found on the verge fringing the wood. Herb-Paris is an uncommon plant which is not closely related to any other British wildflower. Each plant produces a single, poisonous blueberry-like fruit.  In the spring, the woodland flora includes swathes of bluebells with wood anemone, primrose and violets. The wood has a large population of mature ash, wild cherry and lime trees – in thesummer these provide an impressive sight as the leaves fill the canopy. A prominent feature of the woodland is a scattering of large, mature yew trees. It is likely that these represent 19th Century plantings, possibly used as boundary markers.  On-going restoration work will involve the creation of sunny glades to encourage more butterflies into the wood. This will also benefit dormice, which are known to use the reserve. Access At present there is no public access to this reserve as the Forestry Commission is carrying out work in the adjacent woodland (however a footpath does run through the woodland). Current access to the reserve is limited to volunteers and work tasks (July 2010). Updated access information is available from GWT. Nearby reserves Magor Marsh– a remnant of the once extensive fenland of the Gwent Levels. Brockwells Meadow, Rogiet Poorland, Caldicot Pill and Lower Minnetts Field.  Surrounding area Networks of footpaths are located in nearby Wentwood Forest, with Cadira Beeches being a good starting place for woodland walks. Wentwood Reservoir is located south of the forest; above the reservoir stands Gray Hill, which offers fine views to the Severn Estuary, as well as being known for its standing stones. Cuhere Wood lies close to the picturesque village of Llanvair Discoed, with its St Mary's Church. Food and drinks are available at The Woodlands Tavern.

Contact us

Gwent Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01600 740600
Contact email: info@gwentwildlife.org