A top wildlife spot, with exceptional walks through woodland and alongside a classic Devon river. Feeling lucky? Otters are often seen at Halsdon!


North west Devon, near the village of Dolton
Nr Great Torrington
EX19 8ND

OS Map Reference

SS 553 131
A static map of Halsdon

Know before you go

57 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Two small car parks at its Ashwell and Quarry entrances.

Grazing animals


Walking trails

Paths explore the reserve's riverside meadows and woodland. Allow 1.5 hours to explore.


1km level track leads to the river. Most of the woodland paths are steep in parts and unsurfaced.


On a lead


Bird hides

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

This is many people’s favourite Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve and it’s easy to see why!  


Ash dieback

The disease ash dieback is now widespread in the UK and is present at many of our nature reserves, so we carry out tree felling across our sites in winter months. For your own safety please observe temporary path diversions and closures.

Where possible we will leave affected ash trees in place to decay naturally as an important habitat for wildlife. We plan to only fell diseased ash trees which pose a threat to people or infrastructure. Before trees are felled, we will check whether any rare or protected wildlife is present. If it is, we will postpone or avoid felling these trees. No felling will take place during the bird nesting season.

DWT’s Saving Devon’s Treescapes project are working with communities, landowners and businesses to help make Devon's precious treescapes more resilient in the face of ash dieback. Find out how you can get involved here.


NOTICE: If you are visiting our reserves, please note that there have been instances of H5N1 Avian bird flu found in birds in Devon. There is very low risk to public health, but we do ask that if you come across any unusual or unexplained bird deaths on or near our reserves, please do not touch them and avoid allowing your dog to come into contact with dead birds. Please report them to Defra here or call 03459 335577 and also report your findings to DWT by email at contactus@devonwildlifetrust.org.

Contact us

Devon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01392 279244

Environmental designation

Special Site of Scientific Interest

Location map

Take our video tour here

Watch this short film guide to Halsdon in the company of wildlife expert and TV presenter Mike Dilger.    


Otter in the river

Otter. Photo, Matt Whorlow

Wander through trees to the river

Trails weave down through woodland leading you to the banks and water meadows of the River Torridge. Along the way the sounds of birdsong give way to the rush of the river.

In summer the Torridge is the place to see sand martins and kingfishers. In winter look for ducks including goosanders as they dive beneath the water’s surface to catch fish. All year round you have a chance of seeing otters – a riverside wildlife hide is the place to go and try your luck.

In autumn and winter search for fungi on the woodland floor and the branches of trees. Above your head listen for the calls of long-tailed tits and tawny owls, while great spotted woodpeckers hammer out their territorial signals.

Autumn trees at Halsdon

Halsdon. Photo, Kevin New

Explore on foot

Halsdon has lots of paths for you to discover. You can use Halsdon as a base from which to explore this fascinating part of Devon. Use our Halsdon Wild Walk as your guide.

Halsdon nature reserve leaflet

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.

Become a member