Set within the picturesque Wye Valley, this former dairy farm is being transformed into an intricate mosaic of habitats, rich in nature.

Location

Penallt
Monmouth
Gwent
NP25 4SE

OS Map Reference

SO 523 094
A static map of Wyeswood Common

Know before you go

Size
42 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Parking is available above and below the medieval stone barn, at the same site as our Pentwyn Farm reserve.

Grazing animals

Hebridean and Hill Radnor sheep

Walking trails

A circular trail takes you around the Common, through the meadows to the woodland. A public footpath runs through the reserve.

Access

The reserve consists of gently-sloping grassland and woodland. The ground is uneven in places and there is a steep hill. It is important to keep to the footpath and way-marked trails as Wyeswood Common is a working farm and machinery and livestock may be present. Please keep all dogs under close control when visiting the reserve.

Dogs

On a lead

Facilities

Toilets

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year

About the reserve

Situated next to our Pentwyn Farm reserve, the purchase of Wyeswood Common has enabled us to undertake a hugely ambitious project to help nature on a landscape-scale. Formerly run as an intensive dairy farm, there was little room for nature. We are working to bring biodiversity back by restoring the variety of habitats, including grasslands, woodland, hedgerows and field margins. It will take a lot of hard work and may take centuries to complete but nature is already returning.

Yellowhammers are now singing at the farm after many years of absence and skylarks are nesting in the fields. Bullfinches use the woodland and in the autumn the mature hedgerows provide food for visiting fieldfares and redwings. There is even evidence of dormice using the hedgerows. The stunning views of the Wye Valley from the reserve can be enjoyed all year round but are at their best when the leaves change colour in the autumn.

What we do here
With such ambitious plans, we are doing a lot of habitat management work to improve and enhance the reserve.

To encourage wildflowers to flourish on the grasslands, we are reducing the nutrient levels in the soil and the dominance of rank grasses with a combination of hay cuts, spreading wildflower seeds and using rare breed sheep and cattle to graze the land. We are using traditional methods to lay, repair and manage the hedgerows, which are an important source of food and shelter for wildlife, and so they can create new links to Pentwyn Farm to help wildlife move across the landscape. Through tree planting and natural regeneration, new woodland is emerging and by restoring the woodland ponds we are attracting dragonflies, damselflies and amphibians.

Directions
By car
Once in the village of Penallt, follow signs for ‘The Inn at Penallt’ pub – turning off at the war memorial. Where the road forks, instead of turning off to the right for the pub car park, keep on the straight track that leads past the large industrial barn building and follow this all the way round to the end. Parking is available above and below the medieval stone barn.

Near the reserve
Our Pentwyn Farm reserve is adjacent to Wyeswood Common and well worth a visit to see traditional hay meadows at their best. Prisk Wood is a short walk or drive away via Lone Lane. Slightly further away is New Grove Meadows, with beautiful hay meadows and nearby woodland walks.

Just across the River Wye, there are excellent walks through the Wye Valley, including Offa’s Dyke. The old church in Penallt is well worth the walk, especially when the Welsh daffodils are in season.

 

Contact us

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

Environmental designation

Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB)