Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Other nature reserves 

Somerset Wildlife Trust is a significant landholder in Somerset, managing wildlife-rich land. The nature reserves listed alphabetically below are wonderful examples of Somerset’s diverse natural habitats.

Some sites are remote, off the beaten track, have very limited parking and present challenging accessibility issues (for example rough, wet  and steep ground). For many visitors, this is part of their appeal! You can always contact us to help plan your visit and we can provide more detailed information.

In a few cases it is necessary to restrict access to a reserve and a permit may be required. These sites are
listed here.

Aisholt Wood
ST 196 359. 41 acres (16.6 ha.)
Ancient oak woodland on Quantock Hills. Open access (public bridleway from ST 199 362).

Babcary Meadows
ST 567 293. 30 acres (12.2 ha.)
Species-rich hay meadow. Park in village and walk down track past village hall at ST 566 292 (open access). Download a guide to Babcary here.

Bickham Wood (near Chard)
ST 270 085. 25.8 acres (10.4 ha.)
Deciduous wet ancient woodland and neutral grassland. Open access at ST 268 083. Park at lay-by ST 267 081.

Bishopswood Meadows (Blackdowns)
ST 252 131. 23 acres (9.3 ha.)
Species-rich limestone and marshy meadows beside River Yarty. Open access ­ lane off road at ST 252 129, 400 metres from Bishopswood village.

Boon’s Copse (near West Hatch)
ST 281 197. 9 acres (3.8 ha.)
Ancient woodland relics of original Neroche Royal Forest. Open access ­ park at ST 282 197, entrance to north-west through field.

Brimley Hill Mire
ST 175 141. 5 acres (2 ha.)
Blackdown flush mire on greensand exposure. Characteristic base-poor acid mire community. Open access at gate on road.

Bubwith Acres (including Bradley Cross Fields)
ST 474 538. 46.7 Acres (18.9 ha.)
Limestone grassland and heath with bracken encroachment. Open access ­ footpath from ST 481 546 south-west along West Mendip Way or north-east from ST 462 536.
Health & Safety: Steep and rocky paths can become slippery in bad weather; watch out for site management activities.

Cheddar Wood Edge
ST 446 550. 17 acres (7.1 ha.)
Old strawberry fields, reverting to semi species-rich limestone grassland and scrub with ancient woodland hedges. Open access, north-east 300 metres up Wood Lane from ST 444 546.
Health & Safety: Trees might have fallen over paths; steep and rocky paths can become slippery in bad weather; watch out for site management activities.

Cockles Fields
ST 647 487. 12 acres (4.9 ha.)
Steeply sloping neutral species rich grassland with a small area of fen along the banks of the River Mells and a fringe of woodland across the top. A short walk from the Harridge West main entrance in Nettlebridge. Several footpaths cross the reserve. No parking, one path follows the track running from the A367 at ST647 486 on the opposite side to The George pub.
Health & Safety: Steep/narrow paths; boggy areas liable to be slippery; watch out for site management activities.

Dommett Wood
ST 278 139. 32 acres (13 ha.)
Mature beech and oak woodland with small areas of heath. Dommett Wood is close to Buckland St Mary, around half a mile off the A303, near the Eagle Tavern junction.

Dundon Beacon (near Compton Dundon)
ST 484 326. 60 acres (24.3 ha.)
Mosaic of grass downland, scrub thickets and ancient oak woodland. Open access ­ park at Dundon village, access from School Lane.

Edford Wood
39 acres (15.8 ha.)
Ancient woodland with birch regeneration. Public Right of Way runs through the site, otherwise permit only.

Fivehead Arable Fields
ST 338 224. 26 acres (10.5 ha.)
Cornfield flowers. Open access along field edges.

Gilling Down (near Compton Dundon)
ST 497 323. 23 acres (9.3 ha.)
Flower-rich limestone downland. Open access from track running west from Great Breach Wood.
Directions: park at Combe Hill Wood car park (Grid reference ST503329, co-ordinates 51.093088, -2.709066), follow the Polden Way (blue butterfly waymarkers) due south (footpath to the left of the car park if you stand with your back to the entrance). After approximately 20 minutes walking you will emerge from the woods at the top of Gilling Down. 

Holford Kelting (Quantocks)
ST 154 419. 13 acres (5.3 ha.)
Ancient woodland and streamside scrub. Open access ­ park in Holford village. Access via footpath from ST 157 414.

Huish Moor (Brendons)
ST 034 287. 30.6 acres (12.4 ha.)
Unimproved grassland, mire communities and ancient woodland, around headwaters of River Tone. Open access via track from minor road. Park in lay-by at ST 034 285.

Jan Hobbs (Blackdowns)
ST 262 133. 15.5 acres (6.2 ha.)
Semi-improved neutral grassland, and copse; alongside a headwater of River Yarty. Access from road at ST 263 136.

Lots Grassland (Mendip)
ST 481 564. 126 acres (51 ha.)
The site is neutral to acid grassland, with small area of species-rich flush mire. Open access, all year round, the nature reserve is adjacent to GB Gruffy.
Health & Safety: Some areas may be waterlogged in bad weather; watch out for site management activities.

Mascall’s Wood (Mendips)
ST 471 536. 14.5 acres (5.9 ha.)
Ancient woodland, with derelict strawberry fields adjacent. Open access footpath north from Bradley. Cross through Owley from ST 469 531. No parking.
Health & Safety: Some steep sections of path may be slippery in bad weather; some small tree-covered, unprotected cliff edges; watch out for site management activities.

Middledown (Mendips)
ST 485 530. 100.5 acres (40.7 ha.)
Neutral and limestone grassland, scrub and several small ponds. Open access. Park on B3135 and walk south-west along Middledown Drove.
Health & Safety: Two large sinkholes; ruined farmstead; rocky outcrops; areas where ponds will form in bad weather; watch out for site management activities.

Perry Mead (near Babcary)
ST 579 302. 27 acres (10.9 ha.)
Flower-rich, unimproved neutral grassland, by River Cary. Open access ­ park beside road at ST 577 303; then footpath to east.

Prospect Fields (near Langport)
ST 419 283. 7 acres (2.8 ha.)
Species-rich calcareous grassland. Open access.

Quants
ST 188 175. 34 acres (13.8 ha.)
Mosaic of relic heathy grassland and ancient and secondary woodland on steep north-facing slope of Blackdown Hills. Open access at ST 189 176.

Rewe Mead (near Langford Budville)
ST 105 214. 13 acres (5.2 ha.)
Floodplain meadow on River Tone. Open access on public path off minor road to south.

Ringdown (Blackdowns)
ST 180 153. 59 acres (23.9 ha.)
Species-rich flush mire, wet grassland and wet woodland. Part of headwaters of River Culm. Open access from ST 181 154

Rose Wood
29.6 acres (12 ha.)
Steeply sloping ancient woodland. Permissive path runs north to south at western edge of woodland, otherwise permit required.

Ruggin (Blackdowns)
ST 183 178. 36.2 acres (14.6 ha.)
Ancient woodland and species-rich grassland, neutral hay meadow in small fields, divided by hedgerows. Access via bridleway off minor road at ST 189 176.

South Hill (near Somerton)
ST 474 265. 6 acres (2.4 ha.)
Herb-rich limestone grassland and scrub. Open access - park at ST 474 265. 

Street Heath
19.93 acres (8.07 ha.)
Acid mire with fen, raft spider and acid mire plant community.

Tor Hole Fields (near Chewton Mendip)
ST 573 518. 13.9 Acres (5.6 ha.)
Species rich grassland and hay meadows, with springs emerging into wet flushes on the lower slopes.
Open access from near ST 574 516.

Wellington Castle Fields
ST 139 175. 26 acres (10.6 ha.)
Wet and improved neutral grassland and wood on steep north-facing slope of Blackdown Hills. Open
access - park at ST 142 183 and walk south down Beacon Lane, or footpath from Wellington Monument.

West Coker Fen (near Yeovil)
ST 507 137. 16 acres (6.5 ha.)
Damp unimproved neutral grassland, sedgemire and pond. Open access ­ park at ST 503 138 and take footpath to south-east. 

Whitefield (near Butleigh)
ST 529 330 6.6 acres (2.6 ha.)
Unimproved neutral grassland and small copse. Open access from Henley Lane along track and across the end of the neighbouring field. Please keep to the edges of the field until the hay has been cut.

Withial Combe (near Pilton)
ST 570 375. 24 acres (9.7 ha.)
Remote humid steep-sided ravine woodland with tufa waterfall and two neutral species rich meadows. Permissive paths run through the woodland to join a public footpath on the grassland. Parking for a few cars at ST 576 376.
Health & Safety: Sections of narrow or uneven path; some areas can be slippery in bad weather; watch out for site management activities.

Yarty Moor (Blackdowns)
ST 235 159. 26.8 acres (10.8 ha.)
Mire and wet grassland around source of River Yarty. Bog flora. Not good walking ­ specialist interest. Open access - park beside road at ST 235 163.