Know before you go
Parking informationSurfaced car park, 1.25 miles south of Ludgershall, 100 m before Boarstall-Wotton Underwood road. Through gate and over railway bridge.
Follow the 1.5 mile Wildlife Walk
Paths flat, soft after rain, some roots; kissing gates, bench
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times.
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
Most of the trees here were felled in the late 1940s, and only a handful of mature oaks remain. Today's 'wildwood' is a mixture of ash, field maple, aspen, hazel and oak along with blackthorn, hawthorn, spindle and a few old hornbeams. The woodland is damp and tussocky with a wide variety of sedges, grasses and rushes.
In spring, the woodland has a scattering of bluebells and contains many plants that thrive in ancient wooded sites, such as wood anemone, primrose and yellow archangel. In April and May, look out for moschatel, otherwise known as the 'townhall clock', or 'Good Friday plant'. The small yellow-green flowers are arranged in a fascinating way, at right angles to one another, like the faces of a town clock.
Rushbeds Wood is excellent for butterflies, and you are likely to see the tree canopy aflutter with the fast-flying purple hairstreak in June and July. The wood also supports some of the more uncommon butterflies such as the purple emperor and the black hairstreak. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the handsome silver-washed fritillary settling on bramble flowers, or even a white admiral.
Things to do
- Try our circular Wildlife Walk (1.5 miles). Just follow the badger waymarkers.
- We run regular work parties on the reserve.