Know before you go
Parking informationNo formal car park. There is limited roadside parking at the main entrance to the reserve at ST 663 483.
On sloping ground and paths can very muddy. The Mells Stream flows through Edford Wood; this is deep & fast flowing in places with steep banks. The stream is prone to rapid flooding which can inundate areas of the woodland.
Contact the Trust for access information.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitApril to July
About the reserve
This reserve lies to the east of SWT Harridge Woods and is part of the Mells Valley suite of reserves. Edford Wood is a SSSI, part of the Edford Woods & Meadows SSSI.
The reserve is ancient semi-natural broadleaved woodland dominated by Ash with Oak, Alder and Birch. The ground flora is particularly rich due to a mix of wet and dry areas within the woodland. The wetter areas are home to Monkshood, Snowdrops and Wild Daffodils while the drier areas are typically home to Wood Anemone, Herb Paris and Solomon’s Seal. The under-storey is predominantly Hazel with Yew and Hawthorn.
Dormice have been recorded in the woodland and Great Crested Newts in the ponds.
The Mells stream flows through the reserve and has several ponds and leats leading from it, associated with the historic coal mining of the site. Brown Trout, Bullhead and Lamprey are recorded in the stream.
Reserve conservation management – The main conservation aims for the site are to maintain and enhance the semi-natural ancient woodland and its associated ground flora. To restore and enhance the riparian habitat associated with the Mells Stream and also the woodland edge habitat and its associated hedgerows. Coppicing of Hazel and removal of non native trees.
History and Archaeology - There is evidence of coal mining having been carried out in the reserve in the past, with mining in the Mendip area dating back to the 15th century and the nearby Edford Colliery only closing in 1916. South west of Edford Wood in Edford South, and also in Harridge Wood are coal workings which are deemed of national importance and Scheduled as such (Medieval and post-medieval coal mining remains in Harridge Wood and Edford Wood South List Entry Number: 1019023).
Beyond the wood to the north are the earthwork remains of the unfinished branch of the Dorset and Somerset Canal. The branch was intended to connect the Somerset coalfields with the woollen mills of Frome, then at the height of their prosperity. The main canal was never started and only about 13 kms of the intended 17 kms of the branch was cut. Money ran out for completion of the canal in 1803.