Distance: 1.5 miles
Terrain: the walk is undulating in north facing woodland and grass/heathland with some sections of bridleway
Location: Near the Merry Harriers pub, Forches Corner, Clayhidon. Head towards Angersleigh and take the first left to Quants ST 189 176.
Amenities: there is parking for a maximum of three cars at the entrance to Quants.
These are two closely connected nature reserves run by the Somerset Wildlife Trust (SWT) on the Blackdown Hills, Somerset. I discovered that the SWT have published some Wildwalks and this is one of them with a guide to wildlife that you might spot there in different seasons.
The Wildwalk guide isn’t actually all that easy to follow, although I feel I may have fared better if I hadn’t listened to my husband who set us off on the wrong path in the first place (I never get lost on my own)! However, the walk we actually did, which was mostly bridleway offered up some lovely natural habitat in the form of lush, shaded areas with an abundance of ferns. This was absolutely essential as it was a really sultry day.
The initial grassland section is grazed by these beautiful Longhorn Cattle who are apparently quite docile. We weren’t keen on testing that theory!
As you enter Ruggin Nature Reserve you come across these lovely stretches of meadow, peppered with these pretty pink Heath Spotted Orchids.
In the Quants Nature Reserve are a couple of tunnels which are apparently home to three different species of bats, although it was mid-afternoon when we visited so no bat sightings this time.
I love the idea of a Wildwalk and this would make a really enjoyable and achievable walk with young children who could use the guide to spot things, and there is a link on the SWT website for you to log your sightings.