Emsworthy Mire

The place to get to know Dartmoor and its wildlife.


The reserve is off the B3387 on the road from Bovey Tracey to Widecombe-in-the-Moor past Haytor.
Near Widecombe-in-the-Moor
TQ13 7TT
A static map of Emsworthy Mire

Know before you go

99 hectares

Entry fee


Grazing animals


Walking trails

There is a way-marked route around the reserve. The ground is gently sloping, but slightly rocky in places and can be wet and muddy in the winter. The Magnificent Mires project has developed a bog walk from Haytor and Emsworthy. To devise other walks which include Emsworthy nature reserve use Ordnance Survey Explorer Map OL28.


Access around this reserve is by uneven and unsurfaced paths, with some sections of boardwalk. Paths can be wet and muddy at times.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to October

About the reserve

Emsworthy Mire makes a great introduction to Dartmoor.   A gently sloping valley leads you down between ancient dry-stone walls to the ruins of a moorland farm, abandoned since the 1870s. In early summer the fields all around are a dazzling purple from the flowers of thousands of bluebells - a stunning sight.  

Contact us

Devon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01392 279 244

Location map

Take a tour around our beautiful Emsworthy Mire nature reserve in the company of Nick Baker

Cuckoo being fed by marsh pipit at Emsworthy Mire

Meadow pipit feeding a cuckoo at Emsworthy Mire. Photo, John Deakins

 A great place to see and hear a cuckoo

Summer birds include tree pipits, redstarts, hobbies, snipe and stonechats. This is also one of the most reliable places to still see and hear cuckoos in the South West. In winter it is golden plovers, fieldfares and redwings that you will spot.  

Emsworthy Mire gets its name from its boggy bottom! - an expanse of wet woodland and marshy ground fed by the Becka Brook which runs through the reserve. Don't be put off from exploring. A series of waymarked paths and boardwalks get you close to nature.  

Sundews on a sunny day at Emsworthy Mire

Sundew at Emsworthy Mire. Photo, Andrew Taylor

Insect-eating plants and rare butterflies

Plants to look out for include bilberry, cotton grass, orchids and the insect-eating sundew. Toads, frogs and adders also thrive here, as does rare insect life including marsh fritillary butterflies and keeled skimmers.

Emsworthy Mire is great place to begin and end a Dartmoor walk. The popular Haytor and Hound Tor are within reach via a network of paths across classic moorland scenery (check out the Magnificent Mires bog walk from Haytor to Emsworthy here).

Thanks to local  volunteers, and grants from the People's Postcode Trust, Viridor Credits Environmental Company and Moor than Meets the Eye there is now a waymarked circular walk around this reserve, and improved access to the Becka Brook. 

DWT receives award

DWT's Andrew Taylor (furthest left) and Andrew Cooper (furthest right) receive the 2018 Park Protector Award from (middle l to r) Baroness Whitaker, Julian Glover and Caroline Quentin 

Emsworthy is a winner!

In October 2018 our work with local volunteers to improve Emsworthy Mire for people and wildlife won the prestigious annual Park Protector Award, given by the Campaign For National Parks.

Find out more about Emsworthy Mire and the things that made it an award winner in this blog by the nature reserve's volunteer warden. 

Emsworthy Mire nature reserve leaflet

We've got four other wonderful Dartmoor nature reserves for you to explore.

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