A nature reserve with a very different past
Once this was a bustling railway junction
A variety of wildlife alongside a disused railway line
The life of Halwill Junction changed when Dr Beeching decided, with a stroke of his red pen, to close the branch lines of North Devon. The last trains ran to the station here in the late 1960s - from that point on the bustle of steam engines was replaced by the buzz of wildlife.
Halwill Junction became a Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve in 1990. It's small, but its 2.5 hectares follow the course of old platforms and railway lines. Today a cycle/easy path makes this one of our more accessible reserves. The path also links the site into the nearby Cookworthy Forest.
Spot green woodpeckers at Halwill Junction. Photo, Andy Morffew
On your visit you'll see goat willow, ferns and broadleaved helleborines on the edges of the former railway line edges. Birds include the green woodpecker and in the spring/summer warblers.
Halwill Junction is also a good place to see butterflies including wood whites. Look along the edges of the cycle way for this slow flying species.