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Bristol's Best Nature Reserves

author image Lucy Phillips Digital Marketing Officer
Bristol's Best Nature Reserves  image Bristol's Best Nature Reserves  image
March 11th, 2020

Nature reserves are perfect for walks with friends and family or even just to escape busy work lives. If you’re looking for somewhere new to explore, check out our list of top spots for nature reserves in Bristol. 

What actually is a Nature Reserve? 

A nature reserve is a selected area of land that is protected by the government so that wildlife and forestry can live without being harmed. 

Avon New Cut 

Located: lies between Coronation Road and Cumberland Road

The Avon New Cut runs from Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station to the Cumberland Basin. It was first excavated between 1804 and 1809 to help divert the course of the River Avon as part of the process when creating Bristol’s Floating Harbour. The 1.8-mile-long nature reserve is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. It’s open at all times and admission free! 

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Parking on-site:  Brunel Lock Road, BS1 6XL and the Maritime Heritage Centre, BS1 6JL or on streets surrounding the Avon New Cut.

Dogs allowed: yes 

Eastwood Farm

Located: Avon Valley in Brislington 

Eastwood Farm was originally a traditional farm until 1971. After the council purchased the land it was used as a landfill site until 1978. It's now a beautiful landscape for wildlife and the public. It’s always open and there's no admission fee. Selected areas are wheelchair accessible, however, it’s not recommended that wheelchairs are taken on the nature trails due to the steep slopes. 

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Parking on-site: Yes free parking, weekday hours only 

Manor Woods Valley 

Located: Runs alongside Malago stream 

Manor Woods Valley has been established since 1086 which was part of the Headley Farm and the long track which led to the farm still exists today. Throughout the years of the industrial revolution and the growing population of Bedminster, Manor Woods has remained and is visited every day. There’s no admission fee and it’s open at all times. Although there are no public facilities on-site, there’s a tarmac track which runs throughout the whole area giving access for wheelchairs. 

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Parking on-site: Available in surrounding streets 

Badock’s Wood

Located: North Bristol, Southmead

Badock’s Woods is around 400 years old. In 1937 landowner Sir Stanley Badock gave a section of the wood to the public of Bristol to enjoy. Years later, the parklands are well used and loved by the people of Bristol. Tarmac tracks are in place which gives good access for wheelchairs. Admission free and open at all times. 

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Parking on-site: Parking is available at adjacent roads.

Troopers Hill 

Located: St Georges, East Bristol. Between A431 Air Balloon Road and Crews Hole Road. 

Troopers Hill dates back to the 1600s where it was used as part of a large royal hunting forest. Since 1995 the land was declared a nature reserve and has plenty of recognition for the large range of wildlife present on the hill. Wheelchair access is at the top of the hill, although there are large areas of unsurfaced paths and steep steps so beware of cliff edges. Admission is free and open at all times. 

Wheelchair accessible: Yes

Parking on-site: No

Leigh Woods 

Located: North Somerset, close to Clifton Suspension 

Leigh woods was first established in the 19th Century as a residential area with 12 main houses each with their selection of land and gardens. There's plenty of things to do at Leigh Woods, mountain biking weaves are perfect for bike rides and walk trails. The park is the ideal location for running and school visits. Not all areas have wheelchair-accessible but if you’d like more information on accessing selected routes, please contact the National Trust. 

Wheelchair accessible: Yes/No

Parking on-site: Yes

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