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Shepperlands Farm

A beautiful trio - meadow, heath and wood teeming with wildlife

Heathland restoration

The small heathland glade was resurrected from pine plantation, and is developing into a valuable addition to this regionally significant habitat.

In the summer the ground is carpeted in a haze of purple heather; while tucked away in sheltered sunny spots common lizards can be seen basking, and the lucky visitor might even spot an elusive adder.

Regular effort is required to prevent pine and birch from colonising and shading the flowers and shrubs. Grazing is also essential to stop purple moor-grass from dominating.

Insect heaven

There are some wonderful old oak trees scattered through the younger, straighter trees on the reserve. These trees and their decaying wood make homes for countless insects, as well as the woodpeckers and treecreepers and the hard-to-spot purple hairstreak butterfly.

The woodland floor has low-lying areas filled with leaves and rotting timber, also adding to the diversity of insect life that thrives here. These are ideal spots for foxes and badgers to forage for worms amongst the leaf litter. 

Survivor

The small damp meadow is a rare wildlife survivor escaping the ravages of modern intensive farming. In spring and summer, wild flowers such as common bird's-foot-trefoil, buttercups, vetches and cuckooflower, create a paradise for butterflies and grasshoppers.

Traditional management by cutting and grazing at the end of the long hot summer days ensures that the vigorous grasses are kept in check, allowing the delicate flowers to bloom.

A wonderful legacy

This wildlife-rich haven was saved, nurtured and passed on by Len and Marie Goodwin, who, amongst many amazing achievements, recognised just how special their corner of Berkshire was.

Things to do

Nearby nature reserves

Wildmoor Heath
4 miles - Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust
Ancells Farm
6 miles - Hampshire and IOW Wildlife Trust
Barossa
6 miles - Surrey Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Please join your local wildlife trust today

Reserve information

Location
1 mile north-west of Finchampsted
Wokingham
Berkshire
RG40 4QF
Map reference
SU 778 642
Great for...
butterflies
fungi
reptiles
wildflowers
Best time to visit
Mar - Nov
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Size
9.50 hectares
Walking information
Bridleway and paths, soft after rain, tree roots, kissing gates, rough ground in heath. No dogs in the fenced heathland.
Parking
Take A327 south from Reading, 1.5 miles after Arborfield Garrison take a left into Park Lane, parking on right in layby north of Shepperlands Farmhouse. Or at extreme western end of Nine Mile Ride, turn south into Park Lane, 0.25 miles to park in layby on the left.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Yes
Reserve manager
Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Tel: 01628 829574
info@bbowt.org.uk

Smartphone Safari

Every weekend on BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Oxford we broadcast a Smartphone Safari. Listen along as we explore some of our fantastic reserves and introduce you to the wildlife you can see.