71.77 ha (177.34 acres)

Grid reference:

SX 736 718

Map reference:

Explorer NULL
OS Landranger NULL

Ausewell is like a lost world, its raw beauty a haven for rare and endangered wildlife. It is 342 acres of wild, rugged wood and heath with dramatic rocky outcrops, boulders and screes, dense woodland and damp temperate rainforest along the famous River Dart.  

We are working in partnership with the National Trust to protect and restore the wonderful habitats and wildlife at Ausewell Wood.

It is one of three wooded valleys the Woodland Trust owns in Dartmoor. The others are Fingle Woods and Bovey Valley Woods.

How to get here

Ausewell Wood lies between Ashburton and Buckland in the Moor on the eastern edge of Dartmoor. It is around 3.7km (2.3 miles) from Ashburton, just over 15km (9 miles) from Totnes and approximately 37Km (23 miles) from Exeter.

From Ashburton: leave Ashburton via the Headborough Road and continue straight heading towards Buckland. Pass by a right hand turning to Haytor/Widecombe (Ashburton/Welstor Cross). You will come across the entrance on the left hand side.

From Haytor: follow the signs to Ashburton until you come to Welstor Cross (T Junction). Turn right here (to Buckland) and you will come across the entrance on the left hand side.

There are no train stations nearby. The closest are Totnes (15.5km/9.7 miles) and Newton Abbot (17.7km/11 miles).

Visit National Rail for more information.

The 672 from Newton Abbot stops close to the wood at Buckland Hall.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Access and facilities

You can explore Ausewell Woods from the main entrance and car park just north of Ausewell Cross. There is another pedestrian entrance about 500m to the south of this entrance. These are the only public entrances to the wood. There is no access to the wood from the public highway at Waterturn.


There is one car park just north of Ausewell Cross with space for six cars. This car park has a height barrier at the entrance.

There are no toilets on site, the nearest public toilets being in Ashburton.

Wildlife and habitats


This special wood is home to a number of unusual animals that thrive in its temperate rainforest conditions. Barbastelle bats and pied flycatchers hunt flying insects here, and the moisture is perfect for molluscs like the ash-black slug – the largest slug species in the world! The huge nests of southern red woods ants can also be found.

Trees, plants and fungi

Dense woodland and damp temperate rainforest lie along the famous River Dart, perfect for ferns, mosses and lichens such as royal fern and string-of-sausages lichen (Usnea articulata).


About Ausewell Wood

The Woodland Trust and National Trust are working together to protect and restore this precious landscape, for the benefit of the rare wildlife found within it.

The diverse range of habitats – from moorland scrub and craggy rocks to old ‘granny’ pines and ancient semi-natural oak woodland – formed over many millennia.

The wildlife found here has endured centuries of human intervention including mining, charcoal making and, in more recent history, the planting of non-native trees on what was once ancient woodland.

Ausewell is ripe for restoration. The dark and gloomy plantation blocks of Douglas fir and spruce are ready to be harvested. In just 20 years these damaged parts of the wood could be transformed as we carefully let the light reach the woodland floor once more. The wildflower and tree seeds buried deep in the soil are patiently waiting for their day in the sun.

Support us

Your support matters

This wood was secured for the future thanks to your response to an urgent appeal. Discover how you helped us bring another incredible place safely under our wing, and what the future holds for Ausewell Wood.

See what we've achieved

Things to do at Ausewell Wood