Trees growing at Chudleigh Knighton Heath

Chudleigh Knighton Heath. Photo, Simon Williams

A wonderful heathland haven with some very special wildlife.

Location

1.5 miles east of Bovey Tracey
Bovey Tracey
TQ13 0EY
A static map of Chudleigh Knighton Heath

Know before you go

Size
42 hectares

Entry fee

No

Grazing animals

Yes

Walking trails

The Ant Trail leads from nearby Chudleigh Knighton village into and around the nature reserve. It takes around 45 minutes to complete. A shop and pub can be found in the village. A 4.5 mile Bovey Basin Wild Walk links this nature reserve to Bovey Heathfield and Little Bradley Ponds nature reserves.

Access

Terrain is rough and wet in places. The Ant Trail uses paths which are uneven and may be wet in places.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to October

About the reserve

Chudleigh Knighton Heath is a heathland mosaic of gorse, heather and grassland. This was once the landscape which stretched for miles across what is known locally as the Bovey Basin. Today, the nature reserve is a reminder of what has been lost and also acts as a vital heathland home to some special wildlife.

Contact us

Devon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01392 279244

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Location map

How to get to Chudleigh Knighton Heath

Nightjar sitting among the heather at Chudleigh Knighton Heath

Nightjar at Chudleigh Knighton Heath. Photo, Chris Root

Summer nights

From May to July an evening walk on Chudleigh Knighton's becomes a a magical experience thanks to the accompanying sounds of calling nightjars. These African migrant birds come to the reserve to breed and raise their young. By day they use their wonderful camouflage to stay hidden, but at night they take to the air and bring the reserve to life.

The nature reserve's ponds and areas of wet heathland also make this a great place to see dragonflies and damselflies.

Narrow headed ant at Chudleigh Knighton Heath

Narrow headed ant. Photo, John Walters. 

Take the ant trail

In May 2016 Devon Wildlife Trust and Hennock Parish Council opened an 'Ant Trail'. This leads visitors on a circular route through the reserve and back to the nearby village of Chudleigh Knighton.

The trail is named after the reserve's most famous local resident: the narrow-headed ant. Chudleigh Knighton is the only place in England in which the ant is still found.

Work at Chudleigh Knighton Heath, autumn 2018: update

The owners of Chudleigh Knighton Heath, Sibelco UK, are carrying out six test drill holes in part of the nature reserve.

The test drilling is taking place under licence from Natural England. It is scheduled for completion by 30 November 2018.

Each of the drill holes will be 10cm (4 inches) in diameter. Each hole will be surrounded by temporary fencing. The drilling and fencing will involve the partial clearance of some vegetation. Machinery will also be accessing the site. 

The positioning of the drill holes has been agreed between Devon Wildlife Trust and Sibelco with the aim of minimal disturbance to wildlife and visitors to the reserve. Each test hole will be ‘made good’ once drilling is completed at each location.

Visit our nearby reserves

Combine a visit to this nature reserve with one to nearby Little Bradley Ponds. If you like heathland then you'll also enjoy visiting our Bovey Heathfield nature reserve - just 10 minutes away by road. You can visit all three nature reserves by taking 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.

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