Download our reserve leaflet here.

Swindon SN5 8YW
OS map 169 Grid ref: SU105829

  • Not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs
  • Dogs on leads are welcome
  • Follow cicular walk for a short, relaxing stroll. A pond-dipping platform can be accessed from the path.
  • 2.01 hectares

Hagbourne Copse reserve map © WWT

This pocket of woodland provides a breathing space for wildlife in west Swindon and a peaceful place where workers can take a lunchtime stroll. In April and May you can enjoy a stunning display of native bluebells. The copse was planted some time before 1766 and belonged to the Lydiard Park estate. Oak was harvested for the building industry and coppiced hazel was used for fencing. Coppiced trees produce new shoots and this is a traditional way of harvesting wood.

We bought it in 1999 and volunteers still coppice sections, cutting trees back to ground level so sunlight can reach the floor, encouraging woodland flowers to grow.

In summer look for red campion, herb bennet, devil's-bit scabious and greater knapweed along the southern path. Also butterflies such as the purple hairstreak, peacock, brimstone, red admiral and comma. Autumn is the best time to see fungi - 22 species sprout from trunks, branches and the ground, among them common puffball. In winter you may see redwings hunting for berries and worms. Look out for great spotted woodpeckers and the occasional sparrow hawk; as well as tits and treecreepers. Rabbits, foxes, shrews and voles are present. The pond is fed by ditches, which help to drain the woodland. It attracts smooth newts, common frogs, mallard ducks and occasionally a grey heron.

 Peacock butterfly © Darin Smith Treecreeper © NWWTC Primrose © Steve Day Common frog © Steve Day


If driving - Hagbourne Copse is located in Blagrove Industrial Estate, West Swindon. From M4 junction16 take A3102 towards Swindon. At roundabout turn right into Ramsden Road. At next roundabout turn right into Frankland Road. Entrance located on right before the T-junction. Some parking along Frankland Road.

If using bus - regular buses in Swindon. Bus 55 Swindon to Chippenham. Visit

If cycling - A Swindon cycle map route runs adjacent to Hagbourne Copse; graded 4/5 for difficulty. Visit

Nearby reservesRushey Platt, Swindon Lagoons

What to see locally - Lydiard Park and Mansion (1 mile), Barbury Castle Country Park (5 miles), Cherhill White Horse and Avebury (8 miles), Fyfield Down National Nature Reserve (8 miles).

Hagbourne Copse location map © WWT
(Photo: Hagbourne Copse © Martin Sawyer)