Strawberry Cottage Wood
Know before you go
Parking informationThere is limited parking available in a lay-by on the road, a short walk from the reserve entrance.
A track leads from the road into the reserve and a public footpath also ventures into the woodland.
The reserve is reached by a footbridge over the River Honddu. There are steps in places and some of the paths in the reserve are steep and can be muddy. The reserve entrance is a short walk across a bridge and along a footpath from the lay-by where you can park.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitSpring
About the reserve
Oak woodlands are one of the most wildlife-rich habitats in Britain and Strawberry Cottage Wood is no exception. With its large mature oak and ash trees and an understorey of hazel, it is a haven for wildlife.
In spring, the woods are full of birdsong as pied flycatchers, blackcaps and redstarts flit amongst the canopy. The floor is carpeted with bluebells, primroses, yellow archangel and violets. In warm weather, the woodland glades are visited by dancing butterflies. You might not see them, but the woods are also home to badgers, stoats and the elusive hazel dormouse. As you cross the footbridge to the entrance of the reserve, it's worth having a look along the river for the flash of a kingfisher or the dippers bobbing and diving under the water. Otters are also known to fish here.
From Abergavenny, head north on the A465. After about 6km, take the left turning signposted ‘Llanthony Priory/Llanvihangel Crucorney/Skirrid Inn’. Continue on this road until you reach the Skirrid Inn and then take the left turn immediately after (signposted ‘Cwmyoy/Llanthony’). Continue on this road for approximately 1.5km, passing the first left turning and just after the second left, look out for a lay-by on the right-hand side with a sign for ‘Llanthony/Capel-y-Fin/Hay-on-Wye’. Park here (grid ref SO 312 215).
To reach the reserve entrance, follow the footpath sign and look out for a footbridge crossing the River Honddu. The footpath then runs directly across a field from the bridge, towards the wood.
Near the reserve
The Skirrid Inn is reputed to be the oldest Public House in Wales and its history can be traced back as far as the Norman Conquest. The impressive Llanthony Priory is one of the earliest houses of Augustinian canons to be founded in Britain. There are excellent walks in the Brecon Beacons National Park, whilst the reserve is also located close to the Offa’s Dyke Path and the Three Castles walk.
Volunteer and Gwent Wildlife Trust supporter Andrew Cormack takes us on a tour of Strawberry Cottage Wood Nature Reserve.