View across Culm wild flower meadow at Volehouse Moor nature reserve

A Culm grassland meadow at Volehouse Moor nature reserve. Photo, David Chamberlain

Roe deer looks at camera from grasslnd

Roe deer. Photo, Alexander Backus

The River Torridge lies at the heart of this fine Culm grassland reserve. A patchwork of tradition meadows, plus woodland make for a wild slice of North Devon.

Location

West of Great Torrington
Between Bradworthy and Putford
Nr Great Torrington
Devon
EX22 7XH

OS Map Reference

SS 344 164
A static map of Volehouse Moor

Know before you go

Size
39 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Limited roadside parking

Bicycle parking

No

Grazing animals

Yes

Walking trails

The terrain is rough, unsurfaced and there are some steep gradients in places. Wellingtons are strongly advised. There is no crossing point over the river so each half of the site must be explored seperately. Allow 2 hours to fully explore.

Access

Rough, wet terrain. The terrain is rough, unsurfaced and there are some steep gradients in places. Wellingtons are strongly advised. 

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

May to September

About the reserve

Tucked away in the undulating north-west Devon countryside, Volehouse Moor is a reserve divided into two halves by the River Torridge.

Its series of Culm wildflower meadows are bordered by traditional hedgebanks. In summer these meadows are filled with the flowers of heath-spotted orchids, ragged robin, yellow rattle and meadow thistles.

Contact us

Devon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01392 279244

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC)
Heath spotted orchid in wild flower meadow

Heath-spotted orchid. Photo, David Kilbey

Day and night

Marbled white butterflies and rare marsh fritillaries move between flowerheads, while buzzards circle high above.

At night dormice move among the hedges and traditional Devon hedge banks that border the fields, while bats hunt moths across the tops of the grasses. 

Full of song

Woodland takes over at the bottom of Volehouse Moor's gently sloping sides. Wet in parts, the trees provide cover for birds including tree pipits, blackcaps and garden warblers to sing from.

Otters take advantage of the good supply of frogs that live here, while kingfishers use the low boughs of trees which overhang the river to dive for bullheads, sticklebacks and minnows.

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