Chudleigh Knighton Heath
Know before you go
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.
Terrain is rough and wet in places. The Ant Trail uses paths which are uneven and may be wet in places.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch 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.
How to get to Chudleigh Knighton Heath
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.
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.