Clayhidon Turbary

Clayhidon Turbary nature reserve

Clayhidon Turbary nature reserve

Clayhidon is a small wildlife haven nestled in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of East Devon.


Main entrance at Black Lane, 1/4 mile west from Clayhidon Crossway (look for nature reserve sign on gate on right) Postcode EX15 3SX will get you close to the reserves main entrance.
EX15 3SX

OS Map Reference

ST154 152
A static map of Clayhidon Turbary

Know before you go

13 hectares

Grazing animals

Ponies and cattle

Walking trails

Several footpaths lead through the reserve. Parts of these can be wet and muddy.




Under effective control

When to visit

Opening times

All year round

Best time to visit

May to October

About the reserve

Clayhidon Turbary's thirteen hectares are made up of heathland, scrub and young woodland. It can be very boggy in parts, but for those willing to make the effort, it's a place rich in natural and local history.

Contact us

Devon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01392 279244

Environmental designation

Area of Outstanding Beauty (AONB)

Location map

Reserves team on a bench at Clayhidon Turbary

Support from Biffa Award has allowed us to add a new bench to this reserve.

What 'Turbary' means 

Clayhidon Turbary was once used by local people who grazed their cattle there and who also cut peat from the site to use as fuel to heat their homes. This ancient right is at the root of the name 'Turbary'.

In recent years these uses declined and the heathland had begun to lose its special character. However, in 2011 Devon Wildlife Trust stepped in to take on the management of Clayhidon Turbury and made it a nature reserve.

In the years since, the charity has been using its experience gained at other nearby Blackdown Hills nature reserves to restore the site to former glories. A major breakthrough came when the charity gained more than £35,000 of support for the nature reserve from Biffa Award - a multi-million pound fund which awards grants to community and environmental projects across the UK.

Slow worm curled up at Clayhidon Turbary

Slow worm at Clayhidon Turbary

Thanks to this support the nature reserve now has stock-proof fencing around the site to keep ponies and cattle in. The grazing of these animals plays a critical role in opening up the reserve, allowing wildflowers and insects to flourish once more.

Today Clayhidon is well on the way to recovery. Make a day of exploring the wildlife and wild places of the Blackdown Hills by also visiting Devon Wildlife Trust's Lickham Common and Ashculm Turbary nature reserves.


Bringing grazing back to Clayhidon

Watch this short video to explore the work that Devon Wildlife Trust is doing at this reserve with the help of support from Biffa Award.

Biffa Award Logo

Biffa Award

Conservation work at this nature reserve has been supported by Biffa Award

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