This reserve lies on a steep slope and offers fine views over Monmouth and the Monnow Valley from the hill top.

The different habitats on the reserve include bracken-covered slopes, with areas of open woodland and scattered mature silver birch and yew trees. There is a small area of heathland, dominated by bilberry.

The Wern also contains some features of archaeological interest. What seems to be an old quarry lies within the reserve, whilst moss-covered dry stone walls with stone stiles form boundaries around the reserve. A millstone outcrop also lies within the reserve. 


In the wooded area there are scattered patches of bluebells. Other species include bilberry, heather and climbing corydalis, all of which indicate the acid nature of the soil. Mosses, liverworts and ferns can be found in abundance on the old stone boundary walls and on rocky outcrops within the reserve. Clumps of opposite-leaved golden-saxifrage can seen growing in the marshy area beside the small stream.

Boundary walls

The boundary walls and stiles provide a habitat for many plants and animals. The community of plants is very much dependant on the aspect of the wall face. A south-facing wall will present dry conditions in the summer, whilst its north-facing side will remain cool and moist. The stone walls at the reserve are particularly important habitats for lichens, mosses and ferns, and act as a substitute for natural rock exposures, such as cliff face habitats. They are a valuable refuge for invertebrates, such as spiders and snails, and reptiles, such as common lizards and adders, which use them for hibernation, feeding and resting. 


The reserve lies on a steep slope. There is a public footpath leading from the reserve entrance across the sit


Follow the B4293 south from Monmouth for approximately 4km. Take a right-turn, signposted Craig y Dorth, onto a road which goes steeply downhill. Continue down this road, passing the telephone box at Troy View Farm, and approximately 1km further on, opposite a right-hand turn just past Little Wern, you will reach a footpath sign on the left with a very small lay-by / parking area. The entrance to the reserve is located here (grid ref: SO 485 087).

Nearby reserves

New Grove Meadows, Pentwyn Farm, Wyeswood Common and Prisk Wood all lie to the north and west of the reserve.

What to see around the reserve

Public footpaths are located in the surrounding countryside.

Nearby nature reserves

Graig Wood
1 miles - Gwent Wildlife Trust
New Grove Meadows
2 miles - Gwent Wildlife Trust
Croes Robert Wood SSSI
2 miles - Gwent Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Map reference
SO 485 087
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Opening Times
Open at all times
2.70 hectares
Living Landscape schemes
Usk to Wye Living Landscape

The site is on a steep slope.
Walking information
The reserve lies on a steep slope. There are well used footpaths including a public footpath leading from the reserve entrance.
There is limited parking in the small lay-by near the footpath sign.
Dogs allowed
Reserve manager
Gwent Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01600 740600