Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Somerset Nature Reserves

Somerset Wildlife Trust protects some of  the county's most threatened habitats and precious species within its nature reserves. They are great places to enjoy and explore the amazing wildlife and landscapes we have on our doorstep. There are many opportunities to get close to nature and see some very special wildlife.

We manage 72 nature reserves across Somerset, which cover an area of 1,720 hectares (roughly equivalent in size to 2,000 football pitches). Some of our nature reserves are very large and link to adjacent sites to create a complex, while others are a cluster of fields or woodlands. Our largest nature reserve that we manage is Yoxter (228 hectares) and the smallest is Wadbury Bat House in East Mendip.

Enjoy a spring walk

Come and enjoy the spring sunshine on our amazing nature reserves! There are 72 sites to explore, but here are some suggestions for spring walks:

Our Blackdowns woodland nature reserves including Thurlbear Wood, Quants and Ruggin all have brilliant displays of bluebells and other woodland flowers.

Dundon Beacon at Compton Dundon is outstanding in the spring. There are bluebells in the wood and, slightly later, cowslips in the grassland on top of the hill. You can climb up through the wood, burst out onto the open grassland at the top of the hill and then walk back down the track.

Babcary Meadows (east of Somerton) is well worth a visit in April/May ­ there are abundant cowslips and green-winged orchids.

On the Mendips, why not explore Long Wood at the top of the Cheddar gorge.  Long Wood the most stunning ancient bluebell wood in the Cheddar complex. An easy walking trail will take you through spectacular displays of bluebells and the trail is dotted with other woodland flowers including orchids, wood anemone and yellow archangel, with the pervasive scent of wild garlic in the air in the spring.

Please send us your suggestions for your favourite spring walks on Somerset Wildlife Trust nature reserves and we will publish the top 5 on our website! Please send your suggestions here.

Where to visit?

Our nature reserves are maked on the map below or an A-Z list can be found to the left. You can also download our Nature Reserves Guide.


Did you know?

  • In the Mendip area alone, volunteers contributed over 2104 hours of their time to help manage our nature reserves from April 2014-March 2015. 
  • 8755 hours of ‘organised volunteering’ activities took place on our nature reserves across Somerset last year.  This equates to 1167 days!
  • Corporate volunteering has clocked up 937 hours, or 125 days of conservation action.
  • We have around forty grazing contractors and provide employment for many other local contractors.
  • That 55,000 visitors per year visit our Black Rock reserve (Mendips).
  • We provide 1,110 hectares of open access for people to enjoy our oustanding nature reserves.
  • 682 school children got their hands dirty on our nature reserves in the 2012/13 academic year.