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 www.devonwildlifetrust.org 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 www.devonwildlifetrust.org/support-us
Know before you go
Grazing animalsPonies and cattle
Several footpaths lead through the reserve. Parts of these can be wet and muddy.
When to visit
Opening timesAll year round
Best time to visitMay 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.
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.
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.
Conservation work at this nature reserve has been supported by Biffa Award.