Swanton Novers

High forest can whisper the oldest tales. Walking the public right of ways through Swanton Novers you soon seem to arrive comfortably in the present moment, surrounded by the sights and sounds of some of the oldest woodland in the country. Viewed from the outside, the woodlands offer arresting scenery – the verdant variation of the skyline looking like the lungs of the earth. It’s a lovely spot to breathe in the fresh air and take a slow walk. The village of Swanton Novers is itself a pretty place and you can usually find space to park at the Village Hall. The National Nature Reserve is made up of 4 areas of ancient woodland. Though managed by Natural England the woodland is not as accessible as some nature reserves. Still, a walk along the public rights of way can be very rewarding. The ancient woodland is known to contain rare plant species and a great deal of different types of bird nest here. Uncommon fungi and lichen are present and walkers are bound to cross paths with one timorous beastie or another as mice and lizards rustle around in the undergrowth.
Honey buzzards have been known to nest here and there is a spot specially carved out for watching birds of prey. A small, green car park surrounded by fields and hedgerows lies a short drive to the south of Swanton Great Wood. Known as ’Raptor Watchpoint’ the hedgerows are dotted with the odd warbler and several buzzards can often be heard actively mewing and seen circling above the NNR from this nice little spot.
Site designations:
National Nature Reserve
Best suited to:
Tree enthusiasts
Mindful walkers