Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Historic Taunton Nature Reserve Open Day

 6th May 2011


ThurlbearAn open day is being held at Taunton’s historic Thurlbear Wood Nature Reserve, near Stoke St Mary, on Sunday, May 15 at 11am by Somerset Wildlife Trust.


The open day is a chance to explore the ancient woodland with Somerset Wildlife Trust Reserve Officer David Northcote-Wright, who has cared for the nature reserve for more than 20 years. The nature reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) home to rare and threatened species including birds nest orchid, common cow-wheat and Bechstein’s bat.

Coppice woodland

The ancient woodland mainly consists of oak, ash and hazel trees many of them several hundred years old. Coppicing ­ the ancient woodland practise of cutting back young tree growth - has taken place here for probably more than 500 years and it is one of the best examples of coppice woodland in the South-West. This traditional woodland management continues today for the benefit of wildlife and results in spectacular displays of spring and summer flowers which attract many butterflies.


Somerset Wildlife Trust Reserve Officer David Northcote-Wright said: “Thurlbear Wood Nature Reserve officially opened in 1976 and records suggest that there has been woodland here since at least 1300. The site’s history is surprisingly well documented and the open day is a great opportunity to find out more about this historic Somerset woodland and how it is now managed for wildlife.”


The open day is being held jointly with the Neroche Scheme ­ weather permitting bring a picnic. Booking essential by phoning Somerset Wildlife Trust on 01823 652400 or contact the Neroche Scheme on 01823 680846 or .


Visit Thurlbear Wood Nature Reserve at