Bluebells and ramsons at Scannicluft copse

Scanniclift copse. Photo, Dave Chamberlain

Scanniclift Copse

A trip to Scanniclift Copse is to experience the Teign Valley's rich patchwork landscape of hedges and small woods set among fields.

Location

1 mile south west of Doddiscombsleigh
Nr Exeter
Devon
EX6 7PW

OS Map Reference

SX 843 860
A static map of Scanniclift Copse

Know before you go

Size
8 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Cross the River Teign and park beyond this where the road widens

Grazing animals

No

Walking trails

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.

Access

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

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March 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.

Contact us

Devon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01392 279244

Location map

Melanistic fallow deer

Melanistic fallow deer. Photo, Mike Bartholomew   

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.

 

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