Download the reserve leaflet

Pewsey SN9 5JN
What3Words: ///wealth.openly.straws

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’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.

What can be seen here?

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

How can I get here?

Download directions