Close-up yellow rattle Cath Shellswell

Yellow Rattle - Cath Shellswell

Tor Hole Fields

Tor Hole Fields reserve is made up of seven fields which are traditionally managed hay meadows rich in wildflowers and meadow butterflies.


Tor Hole Fields,
Plummers Lane,
Chewton Mendip

OS Map Reference

ST 573 518
A static map of Tor Hole Fields

Know before you go

6 hectares

Parking information

No car park. Entrance is directly off the road on the footpath from the roadside at ST 572 518

Grazing animals

Animals may be grazing at any time of year, therefore please keep dogs under close control and clean up after them.


Unsurfaced paths and stiles.


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

This reserve is made up of seven fields, with a fairly rich flora and an important invertebrate community.

The drier areas of grassland in the reserve have neutral soils, typified by plants such as Common Knapweed, Common Spotted-orchid, Yarrow and Betony.

In the south of the reserve the flatter fields are managed as hay meadows. Yellow Rattle can be found in these fields. This species, with its distinctive seeds pods that ‘rattle’ when dry, is a hemi-parasitic plant that takes nutrients from the roots of the grasses that it grows amongst.

Several springs emerge on the slopes and have created a series of wet flushes, typically bordered by gorse. In these wetter areas plants such as Ragged Robin, Lousewort, Greater Bird’s-foot-trefoil and Bog Pimpernel can be found.

Skylarks breed in the meadows during the summer. You will hear their distinctive, warbling song as they fly above the grassland.

The small area of wet carr woodland on the northern boundary contains a population of Broad-leaved Helleborine orchids.

Reserve conservation management - The reserve is managed primarily by grazing with cattle during summer, which keeps the vegetation low to allow flowering plants to flourish. Livestock are excluded from the hay meadows until the hay is cut in late summer. Encroaching scrub is being cleared to restore the grassland, although some smaller patches of scrub are retained to provide cover for insects and birds. Boundary hedges are being restored by laying and gapping-up.


Contact us

Somerset Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01823 652400

Tor Hole Fields documents