Download our reserve leaflet here

South Marston SN3 4AH
OS map 169 SU191877

  • Surfaced paths but car park is gravel
  • Dogs on leads are welcome
  • 1.5 hectares

St Julian

This small broadleaved wood in South Marston near Swindon has been newly planted and will reward regular visitors as it develops and matures. With plenty of potential to attract wildlife, who knows what may take up residence? With its light, airy feel it offers a pleasant walk along its perimeter path and is easy to walk to from the village. Look out for the brass rubbing posts, wildlife mosaic and special table and bench forged by a local blacksmith.

The wood was transferred to our care by The Hills Group. It was officially opened in September 2011. The wood is planted with a mix of oak, ash, spindle, wayfaring tree, wild cherry, hawthorn, hazel, alder, field maple. Its boundaries are marked by a stream and hedgerows. Already it is rich with insect life, especially butterflies including comma, speckled wood, ringlet, gatekeeper and small copper. Come at dusk and you might see noctule and pipistrelle bats hunting for their insect prey, and hear the rustle of fox and roe deer. Buzzard, magpies and gulls swoop in the air.

We will manage the reserve for the first five years and then hand it over to a local community trust or group, working with them to draw up a plan. We are cutting the grass to encourage wildflowers, have dug a small pond and will thin the trees as they mature.

 Ringlet © Rachel Scopes Euonymus europaeus Spindle © Rob Large  Fox © Darin Smith Buzzard © Darin Smith


If driving – From the A419, take the A420 towards Oxford. At first roundabout (Sainsbury's is on your right), take first exit onto Thornhill   Road, which is signposted South Marston. Continue over next roundabout and after approximately 0.5 miles you will enter an area with traffic calming measures. Shortly afterwards, St Julian's Close is on left. Reserve car park is in the far corner.

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 –Visit for information and downloadable timetables

If cycling - For information and printable maps visit

Nearby reserves Hagbourne Copse, Rushey Platt, Swindon Lagoons

What to see locally - Lydiard Park and Mansion (6 miles), Great Coxwell Barn (6 miles), Cotswold Water Park (7 miles), Barbury Castle Country Park (8 miles)

 St Julian

(Photo: St Julian's © Ralph Harvey)