A Devon Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve

Paths lead you through a heathland landscape of gorse and heather. A great place to spot secretive reptiles and nightjars.

About the reserve

This is one of the best remaining examples of the heathland landscape which once dominated this part of Devon.

Take any one of a number of paths to explore the reserve's heather and gorse covered landscape. As you go look out for basking reptiles - common lizards, adders and grass snakes all live here.



A place with magic

Early summer brings a long-distance migrant. On still, warm evenings the magical bird the nightjar can be heard and seen at Bovey Heathfield. Its curious calls are one of the wonders of nature, an experience not to be missed.

Nor should you miss out on the the reserve's late summer show of colour. Pinks and purples of three types of heather contrast with the butter yellow of surrounding gorse bushes.


Relax and take your time

This was once a landscape which was scarred and rutted by illegal off-road cars and motorbikes. Now it's a tranquil place to go. Relax against a backdrop of Dartmoor in the distance.


Main Photo, David Chamberlain https://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/nature-reserves/bovey-heathfield 

Inset:  Paul Dickson https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/738782 


The Wray Valley Trail passes by the reserve making it easily accessible on foot or bike. Our Teigngrace Meadow nature reserve is only a 20 minute walk or 10 minute cycle ride away.

If you like heathland you can also combine a visit to this nature reserve with one to nearby Chudleigh Knighton Heath - just 10 minutes away by road. These two reserves plus nearby Little Bradley Ponds make up our 4.5 mile Bovey Basin Wild Walk.


Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus)

Devon Wildlife Trust The dazzling silver-studded blue is a rare butterfly of heathland habitats, mainly in southern England. It has undergone severe population declines in recent years. The silver-studded blue emerges in June and is usually on the wing until late August. It is a rare butterfly, generally found in heathland habitats that have shorter, sparsely vegetated areas. It is restricted to close-knit colonies in southern England and Wales. Two subspecies can be found in its range, while two others are now extinct in the UK. The larvae feed on a wide variety of plants, such as Bell Heather, Cross-leaved Heath and gorses.

How to identify

The silver-studded blue is a small butterfly which gets its name from the light blue reflective 'studs' (scales) found on the underside of the wings. The upper wings are blue with a dark outer rim. Males are bluer than females, which are more of a dull brown.




 Bovey Basin Wild Walk

Starts: 2 miles east of Bovey Tracey, Length: 4.5 miles, Highlights include: heather and heathland birds at DWT Bovey Heathfield nature reserve, dragonflies and peaceful ponds at DWT Little Bradley Ponds nature reserve, butterflies and heathland birds at DWT Chudleigh Knighton Heath nature reserve.



DWT - Chudleigh Knighton Heath

A wonderful heathland haven with some very special wildlife. Chudleigh Knighton Heath is a heathland mosaic of gorse, heather and grassland. This was once the landscape which stretched for miles across what is known locally as the Bovey Basin. Today, the nature reserve is a reminder of what has been lost and also acts as a vital heathland home to some special wildlife.



DWT - Little Bradley Ponds

This nature reserve is one of Devon's top places for dragonfly and damselfly watching. Bring binoculars for an up close view of these wonderful insects.



DWT - Teigngrace Meadow

A fascinating 'new' landscape created from the diggings of nearby clay quarries. Birds, butterflies and wildflowers jostle for room amongst its meadowland and steep-sided slopes.



 Exeter - Bovey Tracey - Newton Abbot

Daily, hourly Live Map - bustimes.org

Bus Stops: Newton Abbot Sherborne Road (Stop B) - Heathfield Drumbridges Roundabout (SW-bound) - Heathfield Cavalier Road (NE-bound) - Bovey Tracey Riverside Surgery (SE-bound) - Bovey Tracey Lloyds Pharmacy (Stop A) - Bovey Tracey Lloyds Pharmacy (Stop A) - Chudleigh Knighton, opp Village Hall - Chudleigh, adj Memorial - Marsh Barton Matford P&R (S-bound) - Wonford R D & E Hospital (N-bound) - Exeter Bus Station





  Newton Abbot – Okehampton via Moretonhampstead & Chagford


Monday to Saturday. Two buses from Newton Abbot to Moretonhampstead, one continuing to Okehampton

Bus Stops: Newton Abbot Sherborne Road (Stop B) - Liverton Benedicts Road (N-bound) - Coldeast Cummings Cross (N-bound) - Bovey Tracey Dolphin Square (N-bound) - Bovey Tracey Lloyds Pharmacy (Stop A) - Lustleigh Turn (SW-bound) - Lustleigh Bishops Stone (S-bound) - Lustleigh, opp Eastwrey Barton Hotel - Moretonhampstead Square (Stop D) - Moretonhampstead Court Street Car Park (Stop A) - Chagford Easton Cross (NW-bound) - Chagford The Square (SE-bound) - Chagford Easton Cross (S-bound) - Chagford Sandypark Inn (NW-bound) - Whiddon Down Post Inn (W-bound) - S Zeal Oxenham Arms (NW-bound) - S Tawton Church (W-bound) - S Zeal The Croft (S-bound) - Sticklepath, opp Devonshire Inn - Okehampton Giblands Park (NW-bound) - Okehampton Hunters Gate (S-bound) - Okehampton Fore Street Arcade (Stop C) - Okehampton Market Street (Stop E)





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