Roundton Hill National Nature Reserve

Roundton Hill National Nature Reserve © MWT/Tamasine Stretton

Carline Thistle; Image by summa from Pixabay

Carline Thistle (Carlina vulgaris); image by summa from Pixabay

Meadow full of buttercups at Roundton Hill copyright MWT

Hay meadow at Roundton Hill © MWT/Rob Haigh

People enjoying the view from Roundton Hill summit copyright MWT

Visitors enjoying the view from the summit of Roundton Hill © MWT/Rob Haigh

237 fungi/lichens
470 plants
26 butterflies & 413 moths
59 birds
Wildlife-rich hillfort

Location

Old Churchstoke
Churchstoke
Powys
SY15 6EL

OS Map Reference

SO293946
A static map of Roundton Hill

Know before you go

Size
44 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Reserve car park is approximately 80m beyond the ford

Grazing animals

Cattle & sheep

Walking trails

The terrain is steep and uneven.

Access

Contact the Trust for disabled access information

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to August

About the reserve

From the top of Roundton Hill it's easy to see why an Iron Age hillfort was once sited here - the vantage point offers spectacular views across the surrounding countryside. In later years miners worked the hill for lead and barites; today, the old mines provide perfect conditions for roosting bats. The geological and industrial landscapes of Roundton Hill have created a variety of habitats where specialist plants have taken hold. Perhaps the most significant of these are the 'spring ephemerals' - tiny ground-hugging plants that thrive on areas of thin, dry soil.

Around the open hill are fields which are managed traditionally for hay. In spring and summer, these are a riot of colour and packed with insect life. Areas of scrub and woodland on the lower slopes are filled with birdsong in the spring, with threatened species like Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart raising the next generation. Dry stone walls provide shelter for invertebrates, small mammals and Common Lizard.

It's easy to see why Roundton Hill has been designated, not only as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), but also a National Nature Reserve (NNR). The unusual conditions and diverse habitats support a huge diversity of species, some of which are very rare. Over 300 nationally or locally important species have been recorded here! 200 species of lichen have been recorded and notable plant species include Rock Stonecrop, Knotted Clover, Carline Thistle, Shepherd’s Cress and Upright Chickweed. Two nationally rare species of moss also occur here.

Views from the top of Roundton can be spectacular at any time of year. To catch the ‘spring ephemerals’ you need to get there early – March/April. Spring is the best time to see anhd hear the birds and Summer is perfect for butterfly spotting. In the autumn, look out for fungi, particularly the colourful waxcap species which thrive in the grassland.

Follow this reserve on social media using #RoundtonHill

Contact us

Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01938 555654
Contact email: info@montwt.co.uk

Environmental designation

National Nature Reserve (NNR)
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)