Bovey Heathfield and industrial encroachment

Bovey Heathfield. Photo, David Chamberlain

Paths lead you through a heathland landscape of gorse and heather. A great place to spot secretive reptiles and nightjars.


Outskirts of Bovey Tracey. The Wray Valley cycle trail borders the reserve.
Bovey Tracey
TQ12 6TU
A static map of Bovey Heathfield

Know before you go

24 hectares

Entry fee


Grazing animals

Yes, at certain times of year

Walking trails

There are several routes around the reserves. Allow 1.5 hours to explore.


There are several routes around the reserves. These are not suitable for wheelchair users


Under effective control

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

This is one of the best remaining examples of the heathland landscape which once dominated this part of Devon.

Take any one of a number of paths to explore the reserve's heather and gorse covered landscape. As you go look out for basking reptiles - common lizards, adders and grass snakes all live here.


NOTICE: If you are visiting our reserves, please note that there have been instances of H5N1 Avian bird flu found in birds in Devon. There is very low risk to public health but we do ask that if you come across any unusual or unexplained bird deaths on or near our reserves please do not touch them. Call Defra on 03459 33 55 77 and report your findings. Please also report your findings to DWT by email at

Contact us

Devon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01392 279244

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Location map

Nightjar camouflaging into the forest floor

Nightjar at Bystock nature reserve. Photo, John Deakins

A place with magic

Early summer brings a long-distance migrant. On still, warm evenings the magical bird the nightjar can be heard and seen at Bovey Heathfield. Its curious calls are one of the wonders of nature, an experience not to be missed.

Nor should you miss out on the the reserve's late summer show of colour. Pinks and purples of three types of heather contrast with the butter yellow of surrounding gorse bushes.

Ponds in the sunlight at Bovey Heathfield

Bovey Heathfield. Photo, Simon Williams. 

Relax and take your time

This was once a landscape which was scarred and rutted by illegal off-road cars and motorbikes. Now it's a tranquil place to go. Relax against a backdrop of Dartmoor in the distance.

The Wray Valley Trail passes by the reserve making it easily accessible on foot or bike. Our Teigngrace Meadow nature reserve is only a 20 minute walk or 10 minute cycle ride away.

If you like heathland you can also combine a visit to this nature reserve with one to nearby Chudleigh Knighton Heath - just 10 minutes away by road. These two reserves plus nearby Little Bradley Ponds make up our 4.5 mile Bovey Basin Wild Walk.

Become a member and support our work

The vital work we do for nature depends on the support of people who care about the future of Devon’s wildlife and wild places.

Become a member

Bovey Heathfield nature reserve leaflet