At Thurlbear Wood you can enjoy walking the woodland paths dotted with colourful flowers, such as greater butterfly and spotted orchids, wild dog violets, bluebells and primroses. This ancient woodland takes in part of the circular Neroche Herepath, which starts at Staple Hill.

The site provides habitat for a extremely wide variety of species. The coppiced woodland was once cut as fuel for a lime kiln to burn lime from the adjacent quarries, leading to a lime-rich soil.

The reserve is part of the Thurlbear Wood and Quarrylands Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), on the limestone scarp and plateau, about four miles south-east of Taunton, Somerset.

Thurlbear Wood is a Somerset Wildlife Trust’s reserve. It adjoins Forestry England land.

Type of habitat:
Ancient semi-natural woodland, with hazel coppice understorey, with sunny glades for butterflies.

Look out for:
Wayfaring tree, spindle, and guelder rose in the understorey. Wood melick, wild garlic, sanicle, moschatel, sweet woodruff, red campion, bluebells, excellent for spring flowers.

Noteworthy species:
Greater butterfly orchid, bird’s-nest orchid, goldilocks buttercup, dyer’s greenweed, dwarf thistle, autumn gentian, greater knapweed, and the white-letter hairstreak butterfly.

Somerset Wildlife Trust nature reserve
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Managed/owned by:
Somerset Wildlife Trust

Best time to visit:
Any time (but very muddy in winter)

Grid reference: ST269209
Nearest postcode: TA3 5BW

Open access. Roadside parking for four cars. Alternatively park in Thurlbear village and walk to Thurlbear Wood.


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