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Pewsey SN9 5JN
OS map 157 Grid ref: SU169611

  • Not suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs
  • Dogs on leads are welcome
  • Bench at top of field offers lovely views
  • 32.91 hectares

Jones



Jones’s Mill is a fen, made up of wet woodland (called alder carr), ponds and wet grassland. Its peaty soils are fed by natural springs and the Salisbury Avon flows through its centre. In the wet areas it’s best to stick to the boardwalks as water bubbles and shimmers at your feet. Paths through the rest of the reserve can be a little uneven. In the past a watermill was believed to have been built on the site but more recently the land was grazed by cattle to supply milk. Watercress was also grown here for markets in London. The central part of the reserve was given to us in 1980 by local resident Miss Vera Jeans.

The reserve has ditches, ridges and furrows - evidence of its past use as water meadows. It is home to wildlife that thrives in wet conditions - water voles, dragonflies, the elusive water shrew and birds such as kingfisher, snipe and heron. Great horsetail grows in the alder carr; their bristles have a high silica content making them look like bottle brushes. The alder carr leads to the tussock sedge fen. As the plant grows, the dying leaves build up around the base making little ‘tussocks’.

We graze the wet grassland with belted Galloway cattle. In spring and summer it bursts into colour with yellow flag iris, lady’s smock and water avens, southern marsh and common spotted orchid. Rare plants include the bog bean, bog pimpernel and flea sedge. If it wasn’t grazed the fen would turn into woodland. By keeping vegetation in check the cattle help to maintain a rich diversity of plants.

Belted Galloway © Steve Day Tussock sedge © Steve Day Bog pimpernel © Steve Davis Horsetail © Owain Shaw


Directions

If driving
– From Pewsey centre, take High Street (B3087) towards Milton Lilbourne and Burbage. Drive through Pewsey and turn left down Dursden Lane, just before a white cottage. Cross over railway bridge and reserve entrance is on left close to small parking area. Alternatively, Park at Pewsey Wharf next to The Waterfront pub and walk 15 minutes along towpath to right towards Wootton Rivers. Turn right up bank after canal bridge. Enter reserve through kissing gate.

If using bus – The X5 Swindon-Pewsey-Salisbury service stops in Pewsey’s North Street. From North Street walk 20 minutes to reserve. Visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/parkingtransportandstreets

If cycling – Leave National Cycle Route 4 and follow signs for Pewsey. A local route runs through Pewsey and will take you to Dursden Lane. Visit www.sustrans.org.uk

Nearby reserves Ham Hill, Peppercombe Wood

What to see locally - Fyfield Down National Nature Reserve (6 miles), West Kennet Longbarrow (6 miles), Silbury Hill and Avebury (7 miles)

Joness Mill location map © WWT

(Photo: Jones's Mill Boardwalk © Owain Shaw)