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.
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)
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.