Know before you go
Access is open but the mixture of brash, drainage channels and stumps left from its time as a plantation make it difficult to walk anywhere except on the tracks and trails.
When to visit
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
This ancient heath was planted with conifers in the 1960s. This changed the landscape radically but perhaps protected it from agricultural improvement. When the trees were felled at the turn of the century, heather and bilberry returned. As the heathland regenerates, so its characteristic wildlife is returning. Cotton grass has reappeared in the wetter areas; birds such as wheatear and stonechat breed here again. Grazing is needed to maintain the open habitat and Highland cattle have been brought in to keep it in shape. Wonderful views can be enjoyed and on a clear winter day golden plover can sometimes be seen along with passing kites and buzzards. Mason’s Bank is managed by the Trust through an agreement with Natural Resources Wales.
Directions: From B4368 in Newcastle-on-Clun take the minor road leading north off the sharp left-hand bend on the main road (just after passing the Crown Inn on the right). Follow the road along the valley of the Folly Brook and continue to the right and uphill for 3.7 miles to Two Crosses. At the road junction where 5 lanes meet, take the sharp left turn and follow the road for .6 of a mile, looking out for a gateway on the left. There is limited parking on the verge, please be careful not to block the road or any other access points.