Devizes SN10 4QS
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OS map 130 Grid ref: SU038574

When to visit

Free and open to visit 24 hours a day.

Know before you go

  • Not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs
  • Dogs on leads are welcome
  • 0.62 hectares

Download the reserve leaflet

About the nature reserve

Peppercombe Wood reserve map © WWT

Peppercombe Wood is a strip of picturesque ancient woodland on the edge of Urchfont, only a five-minute walk from the village centre. The reserve lies on steep slopes next to a small stream and is well-hidden at the end of a sunken lane.

What can be seen here?

Visit during February to see the snowdrops and later spring for a colourful mix of wildflowers.

Peppercombe was once full of elms but they died from Dutch elm disease and were removed in 1979. The following year we replanted trees, mostly oak and ash and these, along with wych elm and hazel, give the wood its character. In spring you can find bluebell, pignut and wood anemone. Opposite-leaved golden saxifage brightens the wet areas around the stream and springs. On the drier woodland floor look out for moschatel. This is known as town hall clock because it has four florets facing outwards (and a fifth facing upwards). In autumn look for horseshoe fungi – its brackets protruding from branches and trunks.

Peppercombe is full of spring birdsong – listen for chiffchaffs, wrens, black caps, and tits. You might hear woodpeckers hammering as they look for insects in the bark. Parts of the wood are occasionally coppiced where hazel is cut to ground level to allow sunlight to reach the woodland floor. This stimulates woodland wildflowers. The cut hazel re-grows from its stump.

How can I get here?

Download directions