The Devenish Nature Reserve
The Devenish Reserve is owned and managed by the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. It is situated just north of Stratford sub Castle, along the Durnford Road, where there is a small car park - see map.
The Reserve is named in memory of the banker, Matthew Devenish, who lived at Little Durnford Manor. The land was donated to the Trust in 1995.
The Reserve has a wonderful mix of young woodland, mature beech woodland, chalk downland and meadow. This variety is what makes it such a haven for wildlife, particularly for beetles, bugs and butterflies, such as the chalkhill blue.
There are signed trails to guide first-time visitors but there are no access restrictions if anyone prefers to just wander around the Reserve.
However, please stick to the paths when tree felling is taking place.
Dogs on leads are welcome but the reserve is not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. Please do not cycle around the reserve - there is a bike rack in the car park.
You can find out more about the reserve by looking at the
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust web site or by reading the information leaflet - PDF.
Richard Death is the volunteer warden and there is a Devenish Supporters Group for anyone who is interested in helping to look after the site. This involves as much or as little as any volunteer wishes. It could be as little as visiting the site occasionally and keeping your eyes open for anything that is wrong; going for a "walk with a purpose" and taking a stick with you to knock down any nettles growing on the footpaths; doing a regular walk on a standard route and recording butterflies; or it could be coming along periodically to help with conservation tasks such as hazel coppicing, ragwort pulling or path widening, etc.
Click this image to view a video featuring
The Devenish from the air.