West of Oswestry straddling the B4580, Grid ref SJ 258310 (for a map showing the location of the site click the link on this page). Limited parking available. Car park located at South Common. Grid ref: SJ 259 305
Public transport links
Tanat Valley Coaches route No 78 from Oswestry.
Expansive open space with informal and public footpath network. Access for horse riders. Offa’s Dyke National Trail crosses the common. Picnic area and seats situated at various locations.
Easy, reasonably level walking on grass paths. There are some steeper sections of path leading west from the site.
If you are visiting this site you may like to look at the attached seasonal notice for more information on what to look out for.
The site stands on the 1000ft hilltop of Cyrn y Bwch (Welsh for 'Horns of the Buck') which was historically seen as the barrier between "the Kingdom and the Principality”. Thus it has viewpoints giving excellent vistas over England and Wales.
The site provides extensive views of the surrounding countryside. Consisting of a patchwork of scrub, scattered trees, bracken and wildflower rich grassland the area supports a wide range of birds and insects.
By the eighteenth century the area was being used for racing horses, with one of the reasons for the race meetings being to bring together the local landowners and gentry of Wales and England.
Signs of this historic use are still evident. Much of the figure of eight racetrack forms the main walking route around the site. The remains of the grandstand are still present.
The development of the railways spelled the end of racing on the site as people and horses could travel to grander racecourses. The last race meeting was held in 1848 - the very same year that the Shrewsbury to Chester railway line opened.
The 22 hectare site was designated a wildlife site in the 1999 Local Plan, and is an area of registered common land. It contains a wealth of wildlife habitats including:
- unimproved grassland
- marshy grassland