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Salisbury SP5 1AG
OS map 131 Grid ref: SU234288

  • Not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs
  • Can be wet in places
  • 36.81 hectares

Blackmoor Copse was our first nature reserve and we have been looking after it since 1962. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and one of the most important woods in Wiltshire for wildlife, particularly butterflies. The gently sloping site is criss-crossed by woodland paths and has a circular route for easy walking. In spring and summer glades and paths are sprinkled with wildflowers such as violets, primroses, bluebells and common spotted orchids.

Don’t be alarmed if you see trees being cut. Regular coppicing of hazel allows sunlight to reach the woodland floor so that these flowers can thrive. The flowers attract butterflies - 25 different species. Keep an eye out for the pearl-bordered fritillary, the spectacular purple emperor, the silver-washed fritillary and the Duke of Burgundy. Dormice scamper through the tree canopy in their hunt for fruit and nuts. Look for nibbled hazel nuts on the woodland floor and the occasional nest box among the branches. Shy muntjac, roe and fallow deer hide among giant oak and ash trees. Move quietly and you may see them.

In spring King Charles pond is a breeding place for common toads and newts. In summer dragonflies and damselflies dart above its surface. Throughout the year the copse is home to well-camouflaged woodcocks; if you hear any drumming it will be the great spotted woodpecker.

In 1998 we bought the neighbouring five hectares of White’s Common. Although not part of the SSSI, it is rich in flowers. 

Dormouse © Steve Day Purple Emperor © Pauline Common spotted orchids © Steve Day Pearl bordered fritillary © Steve Day


If driving - travelling from Salisbury on the A343 /A30 to Andover, take first turn right signposted to Pitton and Farley. Drive through village of Pitton, passing Silver Plough pub on your left, following signs for Farley. In Farley take left turn into Church Road and then the next left turn into Ben Lane. Continue on Ben lane until you reach junction with Long Drove (signposted East Grimstead and Winterslow). Main entrance to Blackmore Copse is on left just before this junction at grid reference SU234288. There is limited parking on the wide road verge. 

Please be aware that in a rural county postcodes often cover wide areas; some may point you to a reserve entrance, others may direct you to its centre and others may simply direct you to the reserve's vicinity. 

If using bus - number 36 bus stops in East Grimstead. From here it is a 15 minute walk along Long Drove. Visit

If cycling - leave National Cycle Route 24 in East Grimstead and follow Long Drove to reserve entrance. Visit

Nearby reserves Cockey Down, The Devenish

What to see locally - Salisbury Cathedral (6 miles), Mottisfont Abbey and Gardens (6 miles), Wilton House (9 miles), Heale House and Garden (9 miles)

Blackmoor Copse location map © WWT
(Photo: Blackmoor Copse © Paul McRae)