Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Langford Heathfield Nature Reserve

There is much to explore at Langford Heathfield, Somerset Wildlife Trust’s second largest nature reserve, at 226 acres. It is the reserve’s varied landscape, which includes ancient woodland, heathland and ponds, that makes it a Mecca for such a variety of wildlife. For a sheet giving directions for a walk of one or two hours, click here.

An article by David Northcote-Wright in this issue of the Arion, the magazine of Butterfly Conservation, has interesting things to say about Langford Heathfield.

Plant survey

Look here to see a lovely website showing the results of a survey carried out throughout 2012 which resulted in 4,000 records of about 40 interesting plants, with maps showing their distribution within 10 metre squares

Nearby Reserves

Thurlbear Wood



What to See


Lesser Horseshoe Bat


Roe Deer


Dormouse 90



At Langford Heathfield nature reserve you can see the Shetland ponies that are used to keep the scrub and coarse grasses under control. These ponies thrive on the rough grass land diet and their 24-hour-a-day munching helps the spring and summer flowers burst through.

Keep your eyes peeled and ears tuned for the sights and sounds of many birds including marsh tits, lesser spotted woodpecker, wood warbler, and pied flycatcher that have bred in the woodland and nightingale just might be heard calling for mates in the early summer. Nuthatches should be found easily if you stand quietly under groups of large oak trees. Try the farthest south point of the reserve, known as The Dips, where children have a bike track. The nuthatches don't seem to mind.

Butterflies, including the Small Pearl-bordered fritillary and Comma along with many moths, thrive on the reserve. A good spot for the Small Pearl-bordereds at Langford is the clearing after the stretches of boardwalk as you go north from the main car park. Try from mid-May. Later in the season, Silver-washed fritillaries can be seen dashing about or resting on bramble flowers.

Threatened dormice have a safe refuge in the woodland, where badger setts can also be seen. And roe deer increase in numbers in the winter as they come down from the hills.

At dusk you may catch a glimpse of the bats including common pipistrelle, serotine and the rare lesser horseshoe.

Adders and common lizards can also be seen in the grassland and heath.

Photo of Hazel Dormouse © Jamie Edmonds



Much of Langford Heathfield nature reserve is common land where local people still have the ancient rights of pasturage (grazing), turbary (turf cutting) and estovers (woodcutting for fencing and firewood.)

Because the reserve is common land, and very damp, it has not been used for agriculture meaning many important wildlife species have survived here.

Langford is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) with heathland scrub, secondary and ancient oak and ash woodland. It is because of the reserve’s varied habitat, which includes wet and dry unimproved neutral grassland, heath, ancient woodland, ponds, bracken and scrub that such a variety of wildlife can be found at Langford Heathfiled.

Most of the reserve was purchased by the Trust in 1982 with Coram’s Wood and Lucas’s Copse added in 1985.

226 acres (91.6 ha.)


Location & Access


Download a map of Langford Heathfield (PDF Size: 53kb)

Please beware of electric fencing at the reserve which is used to contain the ponies.


Park in lay-bys on the Wiveliscombe Road, or Poleshill Lane, near information boards.


Open access to the public, all year round.

How to get there

Langford Heathfield reserve adjoins the village of Langford Budville, 1.9 miles (3 km) north west of Wellington in Somerset. It is west of the village, adjoining the road to Wiveliscombe.

A National Cycle Network route crosses the southern end of the reserve.

Grid Reference: ST 106 227.


Events Nearby

Click the following link for a full list of Somerset wildlife events



Contact Form

Please let us know if you have seen anything of interest at Langford Heathfield. We will reply as soon as possible.

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