Grasses growing at Ash Moor

Ash Moor. Photo, Harry Barton

Summer orchids, dragonflies and rare butterflies are the highlights of this fascinating patchwork of ponds and meadows.


Access to this Devon Wildlife Trust managed nature reserve/site

We recognise access to nature is hugely important to wellbeing, but at this difficult time, we need to have the health of our staff and the community at the forefront of our mind - including neighbours to our nature reserves. Nature reserve car parks are therefore temporarily closed, and we are asking people not to drive/travel to our sites. For those who live locally and may be accessing sites for the purposes of their daily exercise, we ask that everyone observe government restrictions on outdoor access and ensure guidelines on social distancing are always followed.

Please be aware that key staff will be accessing this site for regular livestock and health and safety checks.

Advice and rules on public access may change. Please keep up to date on the status of access to our sites and also to benefit from lots of great information about our work, about wildlife and about how you can take action for Devon’s stunning natural environment, by visiting and by following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

Our work for local wildlife continues and remains as important as ever. To find out more about ways in which you can help and enjoy wildlife at home and how to support our work visit


2 miles north of Hatherleigh. Sits alongside Tarka Trail cycle/pedestrian route. Easy to combine visit with neighbouring Meeth Quarry nature reserve.

OS Map Reference

SS 530 089
A static map of Ash Moor

Know before you go

40 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Parking at Meeth Quarry

Grazing animals


Walking trails

A walk around this reserve will take about half an hour


The terrain is wet and challenging in places, visitors are advised to wear wellies or boots. Pushchair and wheelchair users are unlikely to be able to pass the boardwalk at present.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

May to September, November to February

About the reserve

A troubled past has given way to today's beauty. In 2002, at the height of the terrible foot and mouth crisis, Ash Moor was chosen to be a vast burial site for infected cattle. Plans were made and the landscape was hollowed out in preparation.  

Transformed for nature

Fortunately, the burial site was never used. Today Devon Wildlife Trust cares for what has been transformed into a wonderful network of meadows, ponds and wetlands. This is now a top spot for wildlife.    

Contact us

Devon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01392 279244

Location map

Wood white butterfly on a stitchwort flower at Ash Moor

Wood white butterfly. Photo, Chris Root

Summer gets the place buzzing

Summer brings out butterflies across Ash Moor including a colony of the rare wood white butterfly.

Dragonflies, damselflies, swallows and sand martins also buzz across the nature reserve's ponds. Look out for the occasional visit of hobbies. These little falcons chase down their prey over the water.  

In winter, the going gets wet underfoot. This attracts long-billed birds including snipe and woodcock who probe the mud looking for juicy worms to feed on.

Ash Moor is easy to visit by bike and on foot. It lays on the Tarka Trail cycle path, while our own Meeth Quarry nature reserve is next door. Together Ash Moor and Meeth make a great day out!

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