Parc Lodge farm near the Sugar Loaf

The Sugar Loaf, Monmouthshire

Nestled under the oak-clad slopes of the Sugar Loaf mountain in Monmouthshire, Parc Lodge farm sits at the head of the Cibi Valley and was once a medieval deer park.

Wild woods

The farm stretches across a broad open valley and is especially important for the extensive scattered woodland and specimen trees that clothe the valley sides. The woodlands at Parc Lodge are part of a wider woodland stretching for several kilometres.
 
Here, this Atlantic-type oak woodland is right on its eastern limit and three large areas are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
 
Wandering through these woodlands at any time of year brings something new to discover – the cuckoo’s call reverberating around the valley walls in summer to the deep rustic colours of autumn.
 

Medieval deer park

It’s well documented that Parc Lodge was once a medieval deer park, probably for the priory of Abergavenny, though there haven’t been deer here for several hundred years.
 
Today there's still a well-defined boundary bank which formed part of the medieval park pale running around its perimeter. In fact, the bank is noted for being one of the most intact examples in Wales and the park is listed under the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).