A wet and wild world in miniature

Location

within Decoy Country Park
Newton Abbot
Devon
TQ12 1EB

OS Map Reference

SX 864 700
A static map of Wolborough Fen

Know before you go

Size
8 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

At Decoy Country Park entrance (pay and display)

Grazing animals

No

Walking trails

Walk around the edge of this reserves using the paths of the Decoy Country Park

Access

No access is permitted to the fen part of the reserve but there are surrounding footpaths. Open access to the rest of the reserve. Walk around the edge of this reserves using the paths of the Decoy Country Park. Contact the Trust for disabled access information

Dogs

Under effective control

Facilities

Toilets

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

A short walk from Newton Abbot town centre takes you to Wolborough Fen, a special urban oasis for wildlife nestled among the parkland and informal green space of Decoy Country Park. 

A circular path leads around a wet woodland of willow, birch, oak and ash, edged with thicker cover or bramble and bracken. Amongst the trees and scrub, look out for over 30 species of bird, foraging for insects and seeds.

Contact us

Devon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01392 279244

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Blue dragonfly clings to a stick

The paths at Wolborough Fen get you close to some amazing water-loving wildlife, like this emperor dragonfly

Reserve central

At the centre of the reserve is a wet fen formed by a raised dome of peat nearly 3m thick, which has gradually built up over 2,600 years. Around this the watery landscape is completed by a range of ditches, pools, springs and streams. Together these support a good range of wetland animals and plants including dragonflies and wildflowers.

The delicate fen is sensitive to trampling, so there is no open access to the heart of the reserve, but from the paths you can see water mint and the pinky sprays of hemp agrimony; some 176 plant species have been recorded here. Common reed and greater tussock sedge, and stands of rare saw sedge, at its only site in Devon, sway above a rich variety of ferns, liverworts and sphagnum moss.

Something wildly different

Surrounding the fen is wet woodland which provides a home to rare fungi, hoverflies and craneflies. Frogs, toads and newts thrive in these conditions, while the reserve is also home to 25 butterfly species and more than 80 species of moth.

Wolborough Fen offers something wildly different, tucked away only a short distance from one of Devon's busiest towns.

Brown lizard poses on a green leaf

Common lizard. Photo, Neil Bygrave

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