Holway Woods Nature Reserve
A mixture of mature and recent woodland, offering superb views over the surrounding countryside.
Sitting high on the Sherborne escarpment with superb views of South Somerset and the Glastonbury Tor, this reserve is a mixture of mature woodland, with a scatter of impressive twisted old sweet chestnuts, and recently planted woodland designed to link the two older woodland blocks. Although a fairly narrow band of woodland the reserve supports a good variety of birds, plants, insects and mammals. Tawny owls, song thrushes, great spotted woodpecker, treecreeper and nuthatch are present in throughout the year, with spotted flycatchers & willow warblers arriving as summer mirgants. Large mammals include roe deer and badger. In high summer look out for the magestic silver-washed fritillary. For flowers the best time is spring, with a wonderful show of bluebells, primroses and pink purslane (an attractive, non-native plant introduced to the UK in the 18th century).
Take the B3145 heading north out of Sherborne (the Charlton Horethorne/Wincanton road). After just under two miles turn left where the road forks at a red finger post then take the next left soon afterwards down a narrow lane. The reserve is 1/2 mile down this road. Parking is in a small old quarry on the right at the top of the hill or a lay-by on the left at the bottom of the hill. Enter the north wood from the quarry or lay-by, or cross the road from the quarry to enter the south wood where there are steps up from the road.
Access and safety
A well worn path loops through the northern part of the wood joining the quarry and the lay-by areas with a partly grassy linear path giving access to the recently planted wood and on to a path making a loop of more mature part of the south wood. The ground is a little rough and uneven in places with some roots exposed at the surface of the path. The woodland floor has numerous holes from the extensive badger activity here. Please be aware of the risk of falling branches in or following strong winds and take car when crossing the road to pass between the two woodland blocks.
Ticks may be present on site. Please see our Visitor Information page for more details.
Species and habitats
Mature and recently planted broadleaved woodland.
Bluebell, common dog-violet, moschatel, wood anemone, badger, bullfinch, great spotted woodpecker, mistle thrush, song thrush, spotted flycatcher.
Nearby nature reserves
Nature reserve map
Contains derived data © Crown copyright and database right 2012.Ordnance Survey LA100019790.
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