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Size:

19.98 ha (49.37 acres)

Grid reference:

SX786797

Map reference:

Explorer 110

OS Landranger 191

This mix of ancient woodland and wildflower-rich wet meadows nestles in the steep-sided valley of the River Bovey in the dramatic Dartmoor landscape. Its abundance of wildlife fascinating flora and network of walks some of which are challenging makes it an enticing destination all year round.

Features

  • Parking at site
  • Public access
  • Autumn colour
  • Spring flowers
  • Waymarked walk
  • Moorland

How to get to Bovey Valley Woods

Bovey Valley Woods is made up of three Woodland Trust sites: Hisley Wood, Houndtor Wood and Pullabrook Wood.

They lie in the valley of the River Bovey, on the south-east side of Dartmoor National Park, and are part of the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve.

The woods are close to the villages of Lustleigh and Manaton, and are 8km (5 miles) from Newton Abbot.

To Pullabrook car park: From the A38, follow the signs to Bovey Tracey on the A382. Take the second exit at the first roundabout, staying on the A382, and then at the next roundabout take the first exit onto the B3387. Keep to the right where the road forks and continue to a brown sign on the right. Pullabrook car park is on your left.

To Trendlebere Down car parks: From the A38, follow the signs to Bovey Tracey on the A382. Take the second exit at the first roundabout, staying on the A382, and then at the next roundabout take the first exit onto the B3387. Keep to the right where the road forks and coutinue past the turning where there is a brown sign. Continue on the road and over a cattle grid to the car parks of Trendlebere Down on your right.

The nearest train station is Newton Abbot, 8km (5 miles) from the woods.

Visit National Rail for more information.

The nearest bus stop is on Fore Street in Bovey Tracey, around 3.2km (2 miles) from the woods.

Visit Traveline for more information.

Facilities and access

The main access point is from the Old Manaton Road, an ancient lane leading from Trendlebere Down to the village of Manaton. You can also access the woods from surrounding lanes and footpaths.

It can also be accessed from the Trendlebere Down and the Pullabrook car park.

Bovey Valley Woods has a large network of footpaths with a combination of hunting gates and step-over stiles. There are some circular walks, but many paths are steep, uneven and muddy. An OS Map is needed when walking in this area.

There is a car park at Pullabrook Wood, on your left just before the stone bridge over the River Bovey. There is also parking on Trendlebere Down.

The nearest public toilets are at the Natural England offices at Yarner Wood, including disabled access. There are also toilets in Bovey Tracey. Toilets in the Station Road car park include a disabled toilet with RADAR access.

Visit the Teignbridge District Council for more information

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

A well-known haunt for bird watchers, Bovey Valley is brimming with spring migrant birds. Look for the rare Dartford warbler, the brightly-coloured kingfisher or the pied fly catcher, which arrives from Africa each spring to breed.

Watchful visitors might spot signs of the tiny hazel dormouse, such as nibbled nuts along the woodland floor, while at night Bovey Valley comes alive with bats as they hunt on the wing. The river is home to otter, salmon, brown and sea trout, as well as the rare bullhead fish, and Dartmoor ponies graze in the wildflower meadows.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

In Bovey Valley Woods you will find swathes of wild flowers, including primroses in spring and pink foxgloves in summer. Over 36 notable species of weird and wonderful lichens cling to the trees in the woods. Look out for the little silvery-green pixie cup, the apricot-centred jam tart, and the aptly-named string of sausages lichen.

Look out for:

Habitats

The cluster of woods at Bovey Valley features a variety of habitats. Stroll among the broadleaf and conifer trees, wander past the river or admire the heathland areas.

Explore:

About Bovey Valley Woods

Bovey Valley Woods is steeped in the past. With medieval features and enchanting folklore tales, there is a wealth of history to experience here.

Medieval farmsteads

The valley once contained a number of medieval farmsteads. The best preserved are the three early 14th-century buildings of Boveycombe Farm in Hisley Wood.

The farms were gradually abandoned and native woodland has re-established itself in the former fields. This naturalisation process was disrupted in the post-war period when areas of former oak coppice were converted to conifer.

River flowing through Bovey Valley Woods

Credit: Alind Srivastava / WTML

Acquisition

We purchased Pullabrook Wood in 1985 with grant aid from the Countryside Commission. Hisley Wood was purchased in 1988 with support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Dartmoor National Park Authority and the Nature Conservancy Council. The purchase of Houndtor Wood in 2001 was partly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Since acquisition, we have been working to replace some of the conifers with native trees.

Dedication bench at Watkins Wood

Dedicate at this wood

This wood is one of more than 50 across the UK where it's possible to dedicate trees, benches or larger areas of woodland. Mark a special occasion or celebrate the life of a loved one with a meaningful gesture that lasts. 

Choose a dedication

Things to do at Bovey Valley Woods

Horse riding

Why not experience Bovey Valley Woods on horseback? There is a permissive horse riding route that runs through Pullabrook Wood to the Old Manaton Road and back through Hisley Wood to Heaven’s Gate.

Walking

Bovey Valley Woods is a great place to enjoy a walk, and the Hisley Round walk gives you a chance to take in the beauty of the River Bovey. It is a 5km (3.2-mile) walk, taking around 1.5 hours. It starts in Pullabrook car park and follows the main trail onto the Old Manaton Road. It then passes the huge granite boulder known as the Pudding Stone and continues to the beauty spot of Hisley Bridge. From here, the path follows the River Bovey east, passing through Rudge Meadow. Please take an OS map with you as this area is vast with no waymarked trails.

Early purple orchids

A lasting legacy

This wood is just one of many to have been protected by gifts in wills, securing it for generations to come. Your legacy gift could also make a real difference to woods, trees and wildlife.

Learn what your gift could mean
Bovey Valley Woods - Management plan

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Bovey Valley Woods Management Plan

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