Bowdown Wood

Autumn light at Bowdown Woods by Rob Appleby

Mysterious hidden valleys, sunny glades and patches of heathland, a natural playground for you to explore all year round.

Location

Bowdown Woods
2 1/2 miles south-east of Newbury
Berkshire
RG19 8DA

OS Map Reference

SU501656
A static map of Bowdown Woods

Know before you go

Size
55 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

1 mile east of Greenham on Burys Bank Road, as you head towards Thatcham, take left turn up track signed 'Footpath only, Access by authorised vehicles only' to find car park. The Bomb Site car park is a further 0.25 miles to the east, then up track on lef

Grazing animals

Yes

Walking trails

1 mile Wildlife Walk at Bowdown, 0.75 mile Wildlife Walk at Bomb Site

Access

Variable; Bomb Site flat and surfaced; Bowdown gentle slopes, soft after rain; Baynes steep slopes, uneven underfoot, long flight of steps

 

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

A living landscape
Stretching from the vast heathland at Greenham Common down to the River Kennet, this reserve forms part of the West Berkshire Living Landscape, a Willdife Trust project to create space for wildlife and people together.

From bomb site to wildlife haven
The Bomb Site is so named because it was an ammunition store during and after the Second World War. It is a great example of how nature can thrive and develop on a site vacated by people. Many old surfaced tracks create a network through the young birch and oak woodland that has colonised the site. Try the 3/4 mile Wildlife Walk from the car park - it's on old surfaced tracks and ideal for less mobile visitors.

Bowdown walk
This magical dense ancient woodland gives views across the Kennet Valley. A clearing through the wood creates sunny areas where butterflies bask. Look out for the spectacular silver-washed fritillary and the handsome white admiral. The 1 mile Wildlife Walk takes in some damp clay areas on the lower slopes and steep climbs up to higher, drier ground.

Baynes walk
This is the most secretive part of the wood. The dense ancient woodland here has lots of streams and some steep paths. The cool green is a lovely contrast to the open heathland areas. The 1 mile Wildlife Walk has some steep sections, steps and bridges. Reserve champions - supporting their favourite reserve NatureBureau: "Peaceful and magical - a wildlife-rich mosaic of woodland, heathland and meadow."

Things to do
Try one of our circular Wildlife Walks (Bowdown Wood - 1 mile; Bomb Site - 3/4 mile; Baynes Wood - 1 mile).  Just follow the badger waymarkers. Explore part of the West Berkshire Living Landscape on Wild Walk One. This 6-mile circular walk takes in Bowdown Woods reserve. Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 158 1:25,000 scale, covers the area of this walk. Look out for our seasonal guided walks. We run regular work parties on the reserve. 

Contact us

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT)
Contact number: 01628 829574
Contact email: info@bbowt.org.uk

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)