The Beacon Hill reserve forms part of the original Manor of Gollon. It is thought that the land was originally given by William II to Ralph Mortimer Earl of Wigmore. The common land is covered extensively by grazing rights, rights to collect bracken and some rights to take stone. The sporting tenant also has various rights to cut and burn heather to encourage red grouse which breed on the moor. The Radnorshire Wildlife Trust is interested in the conservation value of the moorland which includes a wide range of bird species as well as uncommon plants.
The reserve comprises all of the common land of Beacon Hill belonging to the Crown Estate. A conservation lease was aquired by the Radnorshire Wildlife Trust in 1993, covering some 1889 ha (4667 acres) including the unenclosed area of Beacon Hill, Stanky Pool, Black Mountain, Ffron Bank, Cefn-pawl and parts of Wernygeufron Hill. The pool on Pool Hill (the source of the Lugg) and the River Lugg are notified Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
The Radnorshire Wildlife Trust does not lease the sporting rights. Please note the Beacon Hill Reserve contains livestock, please follow the country code.
The Trust began its Heather, Pillwort & Pools Project in 2009 after funding was received from Biffaward. The project is specifically about Beacon Hill's habitats. You can find out more about it by clicking here.
This area of upland is dominated by large areas of Heather, interspersed with areas of Bracken and acid grassland. Small areas of Crowberry occur on Pool Hill. The moorland reaches its highest point on Beacon Hill at 547m (1800 ft), valleys descending with the tributaries of the Aran and Warren Brooks and the River Lugg itself. Some of the watercourses leave Cigfrain the moorland in steeply sided dingles which support base loving species such as Primrose, Fairy Flax, and Carline Thistle.
The more typical wet flushes on the moorland support species such as a Flote Grass, Round-leaved Crowfoot, Soft Rush, Bulbous Rush, Shoreweed and Water Purslane. Within an area of Sphagnum Moss and under old Heather on wet flushes Lesser Twayblade Listera cordata occurs. On Pool Hill mud-bottomed pools support Pillwort Pilularia globulifera, the insectivorous Lesser Bladderwort Urtricularia minor, Bog Pondweed Potomagenfon polygonifoloius, Spike Rush Eleocharis sp. and the Orange Foxtail Alopercurus aequalis. Also recorded is a rare freshwater algae Monstroma sp. Moonwort Botrychium lunaria has been recorded on a verge as you enter the reserve.
Birds include: nesting Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Whinchat, Stonechat, Merlin, Red Grouse, Linnet, Buzzard, Peregrine and Raven. Hen Harrier and Red Kite are known to visit.
The common can be reached on foot via many rights of way shown on the OS map. The best access by car is at SO 192 748. Go through the gate and park 100m beyond. Please take care not to block any tracks, roads or gateways.
NGR: SO 177 768