Know before you go
Parking informationParking is best in a small lay-by on the edge of Lower Shortditch reserve and walking a mile back down the road. This postcode take you to the vicinity of Lower Shortditch Turbary: SY16 4EZ
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
Opening timesOpen all the time
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
This ancient heath was planted with conifers in the 1960's. 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.
Getting to Mason's Bank
Parking is best in a small lay-by on the edge of Lower Shortditch reserve and walking a mile back down the road. This postcode take you to the vicinity of Lower Shortditch Turbary: SY16 4EZ. The lay-by is best accessed from Bishop's Castle. At Bishop's Castle, at the crossroads, take the turning off the A488 on to B4385. Turn off the B4385 on to Kerry Lane at the Three Bells pub. Follow Kerry Lane northwestwards to the junction with Moat Hill road. Turn left here, following signs for Bishops Moat/Mainstone. Approximately 2.5 miles out of Bishop's Castle, there is a triangular junction. Take the middle road to stay on Kerry Ridgeway. Follow this road for just over 1 mile until you reach a junction; turn left at this junction for Lower Edenhope/Mainstone. You will then reach another junction where you should turn right up the hill towards Two Crosses. Follow this road for three miles; before you reach a junction turn sharp right. Follow the road for just over 1 mile (you will pass Mason's Bank reserve) and the lay-by will be on your right hand side.