Unspoilt fragments saved and damaged ancient woodland on the road to recovery 

This stunning woodland in the northern fringes of Dartmoor National Park – and the thousands of plants and animals that call this truly beautiful place home – is safely in our hands.

For people

Fingle Woods is nestled between two key National Trust properties – Castle Drogo and Steps Bridge Woods – both of which attract tens of thousands of visitors each year. These visitors have not been able to enjoy much of the connecting woodland and its wildlife as many parts have no public access – something we are working to change.

For wildlife

This wood is bursting with life. Wild daffodils in early spring give way to bluebells to create a continuous carpet of colour across the dappled woodland. Redstarts and wood warblers can be seen along the woodland edges while pied flycatchers, typically found on the western coast, hunt for insects in the mature undergrowth

For restoration

Saving sites like Fingle Woods is vital in our fight to save and restore the UK’s woodland heritage. For many years we have used our knowledge and expertise to create the right conditions to restore ancient woodland like this which has been damaged through non-native conifer planting. Restoration is the only way to protect the long-term future of the last remaining 2% of ancient woodland in the UK.

Visit for yourself

Autumnal trees reflected in river, Fingle Woods

A Woodland Trust Wood

Fingle Woods

Nr Dunsford Devon

265.24 ha (655.41 acres)

Explore Fingle

The future of Fingle Woods

We've already seen some incredible successes here over the past 5 years. We have increased our understanding of dormice, seen woodland glades come to life with plants and insects as the light reaches the ground once more and released ancient trees from crowding and overshadowing.

Our priority now is to fully restore the 214 hectares (528 acres) of ancient woodland which has been damaged by the planting of non-native conifers, gradually returning the wood to its former glory.

We will continue to:

  • protect the unspoilt fragments of ancient woodland nestled within Fingle Woods
  • restore damaged sections of woodland by carefully removing the non-native conifers, creating an important patchwork of habitats
  • demonstrate our woodland restoration process to other land managers, championing sensitive forestry techniques that others can use elsewhere 
  • work with volunteers to survey the wood and its wildlife, monitor water quality in the River Teign, and to help inform and engage the wood's many visitors
  • improve access for visitors, including for those who may find woodland access challenging, enabling more people to appreciate and value this special place
  • work closely with our partner the National Trust to share skills, knowledge and resources for restoration and people engagement

There's still time to help

We can't do any of this without you. Our funding from the National Lottery is entering its final year and there is so much more we need to do. We will continue to need funds if we're to complete our vital restoration work. Your donation could help us achieve so much. 

Whatever you choose to give, donating online is secure, quick and cost effective, so more money goes directly towards supporting our work at Fingle Woods.

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Site manager Dave Rickwood at Fingle Woods

Video

Keeping Fingle Woods wild

00:02:17

Hard graft. Passionate people. Expertise and skill. There's more to our woods than just trees. See for yourself what makes Fingle Woods so special, and what it takes to keep it that way.

Watch the film