Red deer stag with bracken on his antlers Terry Whittaker

Red Deer Stag - Terry Whittaker

A wonderfully atmospheric ancient woodland nestled in a steep-sided Quantock Hills valley overlooking the Bristol Channel.


Holford Ketling,
Off A39

OS Map Reference

ST 154 419
A static map of Holford Kelting

Know before you go

5 hectares

Parking information

Park in Holford and then take the footpath starting at ST 156 413 north for a quarter of a mile which will bring you to the reserve entrance.

Grazing animals



Contact the Trust for access information.


On a lead
Visit the 'Dog walking on reserves' page in the Contact section for more information.

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to July

About the reserve

The reserve lies in a narrow steep sided wooded valley and is on both sides of the Holford stream. Most of the reserve is on steep, slippery slopes with the fast flowing stream at the base. At the northern end of the reserve the valley widens and the stream regularly floods here when fallen branches make temporary dams.

This is a wonderfully atmospheric woodland. Visit in late spring to see Wild Garlic carpeting the woodland floor and also Primroses, Wood Anemone and Early Purple Orchids which flower in large numbers here. Due to the very damp nature of the reserve there are outstanding displays of Male Fern, Soft Shield Fern, Broad Buckler Fern plus the Hard Fern. Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Greater Spotted and Green woodpeckers occur in the reserve throughout the year.

Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker and the Golden Ringed Dragonfly appear regularly. Red Deer are often seen in the wood and Roe Deer also occur.

Reserve conservation management - Management is very low intervention and aims to maintain and enhance the woodland habitat by the removal of non native tree species.

Holford Kelting is also close to the Quantock Hills, Kilve and West Quantocks Head beaches.

Contact us

Somerset Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01823 652400

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Holford Kelting documents