We strongly suggest that members of the public do not visit Rose Wood at this time due to the effects of ash die back. We're sorry if this causes any inconvenience, however public safety is paramount.

Rose Wood consists of mainly semi-natural ancient woodland with parts of the wood rich in ground flora. Its close proximity to the A38 on the west side of Shute Shelve Hill just north of Axbridge makes it very accessible but subject to traffic noise. Please note this is a Permit Only reserve.


Rose Wood,
Adjacent to the A38 road and the Axbridge bypass

OS Map Reference

ST 424 556
A static map of Rose Wood

Know before you go

12 hectares

Parking information

There is car parking very close by in the NT car park on the Winscombe Hill road on the other side of the A38.


Permit only reserve. A permissive path runs north to south at the western edge of the woodland.


Under effective control
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

Spring and summer

About the reserve

Rose Wood is mainly ancient semi-natural woodland on the west side of Shute Shelve Hill with steep slopes down to the A38. The ancient semi-natural woodland consists mainly of Ash and Hazel with some Oak and Small-leaved Lime, but there are also some mature Beech trees present in the wood. In parts of the wood the ground flora is very rich with Ransoms, Dog’s Mercury, Bluebells, Wood Anemone, Wood Spurge, Lesser Celandine, Pignut, Cuckoo Pint several types of Violets and Primroses.

There are also several patches of the nationally rare Purple Gromwell, a south west ancient woodland indicator, and Meadow Saffron also occurs throughout the wood. The woodland has been somewhat altered due to planting of Beech, probably in the 18th century. 

Planting of conifers has also taken place in the past, including Scots Pine and Larch. These conifers are about 60 to 80 years old. The Larches in particular are dying and provide significant dead wood. A number of the Beech trees have also begun to collapse allowing some natural woodland regeneration in the gaps.

Birds seen in the wood include Blackbird, Robin, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Raven (breeding), Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Stockdove, Blue tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Redstart and Jay. Road noise from the adjacent A38 is very intrusive in the reserve.

Rose Wood is part of the Mendip Woodlands Special Area of Conservation.

Reserve conservation management – Removal of non native trees. Thinning of native species to promote a structurally varied woodland with a range of ages of trees. Blocks or “coupes” of hazel are coppiced on rotation, providing habitat for dormice, which acts as a corridor running from East to West across the Mendips. 


Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)