Habitat: Woodland and open moorland and heath
Car park map ref. SS970284
Probably one of the better inland sites in Somerset for diversity of species, although it has recently been badly degraded in some areas by forestry access work.
Redstarts, Lesser Redpolls and Spotted Flycatchers are often around the car park. Walking west, the conifer belt on your left often contains Crossbills and Siskins. The open hill may produce occasional Stonechat and Grasshopper Warbler. Continue on through a small wood and down to the edge of Haddon Wood: along this path there should be plenty of Willow Warblers, Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. The path then continues back east along the edge of a large conifer wood. Tree Pipits frequently sing from the telegraph wires.
At SS962292 a signed footpath north enters an area of oak woodland in which Pied Flycatchers, Redstarts and Wood Warblers breed, and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers are occasionally seen, though forestry work may reduce the interest of this area.
Return to the main track and head east across the access road to Wimbleball Dam to a field where Wimbleball Lake (see separate site guide) can be viewed. From here follow the track known as Lady Harriet’s Drive up through the woodland, another good area which has suffered badly from management work. At SS978288 take the path south (uphill); the area as you leave the wood is good for Heath Fritillaries in early summer. At the top of the slope follow the track west back to the car park.
Nightjars can be heard and seen on summer evenings from just below the car park.
From Ralegh’s Cross follow the B3190 west through Upton and the car park is along a short lane on the right just before a sharp left-hand bend downhill. From the west turn off the A396 near Dulverton through Bury then left on to the B3190.
Open access all year. Decent stoned or grass tracks although can be a little muddy after heavy rain. The path through the woodland is narrow and uneven. Toilets at car park.
About the Site