ReservesWeston Big Wood

Weston Big Wood

Grid ref: 456 750 / Area: 38 hectares

One of Avon's largest ancient woodlands, Weston Big Wood dates back to the last Ice Age. A network of footpaths criss-cross this wildlife-rich wood.

How to get there
We encourage visitors to use environmentally friendly forms of transport wherever possible. Most of our reserves are easily accessible by bicycle, with many close to the National Cycle Network. Click here to view a location map of the reserve on the National Cycle Network website.

Alternatively, from B3124 Clevedon-Portishead road, turn into Valley Road. Park in the lay-by approx 300 yards on right, and walk up the hill. Steps lead into the wood from the road.

Paths can be muddy, slippery and steep-sided. Keep well away from the quarry sides.

Wildlife and conservation
The woodland slopes of this ridge of Carboniferous limestone are covered with uncommon small-leaved lime trees, while oak and hazel are more abundant on the top of the hill. Rare whitebeams are also dotted throughout the wood.

In springtime, the ground is covered with wood anemones, violets and masses of bluebells. The presence of other plants such as herb paris and yellow archangel together with purple gromwell, which is very rare, show that this wood is ancient. It is thought that there has been woodland here since trees began to recolonise after the last Ice Age some 10,000 years ago.

The ride is an excellent area for butterflies: on a sunny day orange tip, speckled wood and purple hairstreak are among the many that can be seen.

The wood is very good for birds, including woodpecker, nuthatch, and tawny owl. Bats also roost in the trees, and the presence of many setts indicates a large badger population.

Areas of the wood are thinned and coppiced to encourage flowers, butterflies and birds. The ride is also cut back and coppiced to prevent it growing over.

Other points of interest
The old stones, ditches and banks are thought to be medieval boundaries, used to divide the wood into sectors.

Further information
This site was purchased with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Countryside Agency, and donations from members and local people.

 Image library  Reserves: Weston Big Wood  
 Reserve map  Purple gromwell  Ride  
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