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Bellever Moor and Meadows

Bellever Moor and Meadows makes a great introduction to Dartmoor. Walk in wildflower upland meadows and between ancient drystone walls to experience great views of this part of central Dartmoor.

If you go down to Bellever Woods today, venture a little distance from the picnic site to be sure of a wildlife surprise. Just nearby are 70 hectares of the new Bellever Moor and Meadows nature reserve, waiting to be explored.


Leased to Devon Wildlife Trust by the Forestry Commission under a 25 year partnership agreement, the aim is to enhance and manage the land for wildlife, starting from 2016. The project will also provide better visitor facilities - such as this smart bench!




But there is much potential and already of interest to see: a mosaic of over 40 small fields grouped in two areas around Naked Hill and Bellever Farm in the north of the site, and Laughter Hole to the south, featuring a variety of traditional Dartmoor meadows.


Bright-eyed ballerinas

Enjoy a walk of discovery through the different drystone-walled field compartments, encountering as you wander flowery hay meadows, ruch pasture, purple moor grass mire, heathy grassland, moorland, unimproved, semi-improved, and rough pasture, plus a small stream connecting to the East Dart river and tor-capped views across the Dartmoor landscape.


On a summer's stroll look out for the colours of yellow rattle, tormentil, black knapweed, mouse-ear hawkweed, red bartsia and eyebrights studding the grass and sedge sward, and in autumn pink ballerina wax cap mushrooms.


Remembrance of things pasture  

These are species of ancient pasture and meadow; Duchy of Cornwall records show a farmstead has existed here since at least 1355, while archaeological hut circle remains on Naked Hill are evidence of farming settlement from prehistoric times.


With further active restoration the meadows should support more wildlife as the project progresses. Future return visits will be rewarded with more species to spot and richer habitats to investigate.


Improvement work at the nature reserve has benefited from the support of Suez Communities Trust, which provides grants through the Landfill Communities Fund. This important source of funding has been available since 1997 and supported worthy projects with over £1.4 billion.





Nearby nature reserves

5 miles - Devon Wildlife Trust
Dart Valley
6 miles - Devon Wildlife Trust
Emsworthy mire
6 miles - Devon Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

PL20 6TU
Map reference
Great for...
getting away from it all
Best time to visit
Mar - Oct
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Opening Times
72.00 hectares
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Open access. Rough tracks and paths. No steep climbs, can be boggy in places.
Walking information
Explore a network of paths and footpaths. Bellever Moor and Meadows forms part of walk number 19 'Postbridge, Laughter Hole and Bellever' in book 26 - Dartmoor Walks in the popular series Pathfinder Guides produced by Jarrold Publishing and Ordnance Survey.
Limited roadside parking. Pay and display car parks at car park at Postbridge and Forestry Commission's Bellever Forest car park.
Dogs under effective control
Grazing animals
Dogs must be kept on a lead in the presence of grazing animals.
Reserve manager
Ian Chadwick
Tel: 01392 279244