Somerset Wildlife Trust

Work For Us|



Cheddar Complex Nature Reserve



Three Somerset Wildlife Trust nature reserves make up the Cheddar Complex: Black Rock, Long Wood and Velvet Bottom. The area is famous for its caves and the spectacular Cheddar Gorge, which runs close to the reserves.

Read more about their history.

Find out what wildlife lives here.

Download nature trail map

Nearby nature reserves

swtflowerDraycott Sleights

swtflowerKings Castle Wood

swtflowerHarridge Woods

Seasonal Species


Common rock-rose

Silver washed fritillary




Longtailed tit

All year-round

Peregrine falcon

Roe deer


View the Cheddar Complex on Google maps

The three nature reserves that make up the Cheddar Complex are linked and can be accessed from either end via Black Rock (off Cheddar Gorge) or Velvet Bottom. You need to walk through Black Rock to get to Longwood.   

The nearest postcode for Black Rock is BA5 3BT (ST 48205452) & for Velvet Bottom is BS40 7XR (ST 50255550). The postcode will get you close to the reserve but you will need the grid reference for the exact location.

Reserve information

Reserve Icons Web-01


By road: Access to the complex is via Black Rock off the B3135 (1.2miles NE of Cheddar) or via Velvet Bottom off the B3134 to Charterhouse.

By bicycle: National Cycle Network routes pass a mile to the east (through Charterhouse) and south-west (through Cheddar) of Black Rock.

Reserve Icons Web-02
Best time to visit

May for the bluebells in Longwood.

Reserve Icons Web-03
Plan journey

By car, bike, foot, public transport

Reserve Icons Web-05

Open to the public year round

Reserve Icons Web-06
Nearest facilities

Public toilets and refreshments at bottom of Cheddar gorge.

Reserve Icons Web-07

Velvet Bottom: 43 acres (17.4 ha)

Black Rock: 181 acres (73.3 ha.)

Long Wood: 47 acres (19.2 ha.)

Reserve Icons Web-08


Access & safety

Download safety information here.

Reserve Icons Web-10

Limited parking at Black Rock & Velvet Bottom.

Coaches and minibuses to drop off at Black Rock entrance.

Reserve Icons Web-11

Animals may be grazing at any time of year so please keep dogs under control. More here.

Grazing animals

Cattle & sheep.

Reserve Icons Web-12
Contact us

Tel: 01823 652400


There are three practical volunteer groups you can join.


Download map & nature trail


Sign up to our mailing lists

* indicates required