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 this site 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 join our FREE e-news and to support our work visit www.devonwildlifetrust.org/support-us
Know before you go
Parking informationCross the River Teign and park beyond this where the road widens
The ability to access the reserve is inhibited by the natural steepness of most of the site and natural woodland obstacles such as tree roots. Allow 45minutes to walk the circular route.
Path can be rough, with steps in places. The ability to access the reserve is inhibited by the natural steepness of most of the site and natural woodland obstacles such as tree roots. Contact the Trust for disabled access information
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch to September
About the reserve
The reserve is one such small, but well connected, woodland nestling on the sharply rising valley sides, overlooking the hedged pastures of DWT's Woodah Farm.
A permissive path along a quiet lane and track brings you to the site entrance. Follow the 1km circular trail, which in places is narrow, winding and steep, with several sections of steps, through the 8 hectares of woodland. It may take only an hour to walk round, up and down, but there is much to see on the way.
How to get to Scanniclift Copse
Scene from a certain angle
The slopes offer a different perspective, the chance to see both the top and bottom of a woodland, from treetops to leaf litter.
Veteran oaks, the larger trees over 300 years old, occupy the canopy, accompanied by ash on the upper slopes. Under a varied understorey of hazel coppice, holly, spindle, blackthorn, hawthorn, field maple, crab apple and suckering elm, you may glimpse melanistic fallow deer browsing among the soft shield and hart's-tongue ferns, while wood ants forage in the leaf litter below.
Scents and sensibilities
Scanniclift is a place to encounter the sights and sounds of a woodland, and also the smells: in spring the reserve is filled with colours and scents from flowers such as bluebells, bugle, wood anemone, woodruff, wood spurge, wild garlic and pignut.
More unusual plants recorded here include bastard balm, toothwort and bird's-nest orchid. The site is also special for rare beetles and other invertebrates which live in dead and rotting wood. Dead standing trees are purposely retained for the habitats they provide and create: natural windblow helps form glades and wet wood flushes.
A branch of history
Scanniclift Copse was bequeathed to Devon Wildlife Trust by Kathleen Dorothy Gifford Scott in 1984. Historically this was a working woodland; evidence of past coppicing, charcoal hearths and quarry caves can still be seen. Today the caves are home to rare horseshoe and barbastelle bats, well placed for an aerial commute along the Teign Valley.
Take your next step
From here it is a short trip to nearby Dunsford nature reserve for another Teign Valley riverside walk.