Walking on wonderful Woodbury Common
- Credit: Archant
Why not get out this weekend and enjoy a walk on Woodbury Common
Time: 1½ hours
Terrain: Uneven ground and loose stones
What to bring: Sturdy footwear. Woodbury Common is popular with dog walkers. (If bringing a dog please follow the Four Paw Codes, this can be found on the Devon Loves Dogs website.)
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Car park: Free car park at Woodbury Castle on the B3180. Nearest postcode: EX5 1HE (SY 032 874).
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Start at Woodbury Castle car park, part of Woodbury Common. Walk through the trees through the castle walls.
The castle is an ancient Iron Age hill fort. It has recently been restored to improve access, open up views and protect the site for the future. Woodbury Common is significant for wildlife and supports the nationally rare Dartford warbler and nightjars, as well as a range of reptiles.
Once you have crossed the hill fort you reach a path. Join the path and turn left, following the track across the heathland. Views to your right show evidence of the heathland fire which took place in April 2017.
Uncontrolled fires on the heathland pose a risk to visitors and wildlife. Reptiles are unable to escape and the lack of cover following a fire means they are an easy target for predators whilst the area recovers. This area is managed by the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust.
The path leads to a crossroads; go straight across on the main path. After 400 metres take a sharp right-hand turn and follow a track, from here you can see the MOD training range. In the distance you can see views over to Peak Hill and the East Hill Strips.
Follow the path downhill treading carefully to avoid slipping on the loose pebbles.
Did you know the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths are an extremely rare and threatened wildlife habitat? They are named after the Budleigh Salterton (Bunter) Pebblebeds which underlie them. The rock that formed the sandstone pebbles originated 440 million years ago.
Pass over a boardwalk and through Uphams Plantation. You will pass two crossroads. Take the third turning on your right.
Follow the path across the heathland (passing a car park on your left). Follow the path back towards Woodbury car park, passing Woodbury Castle plantation on your right.
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