Southcott Wood, Near Barnstaple, Devon

Loca­tion: Stoke Rivers, near Barn­sta­ple, Devon
Area: 11.5 acres
Price: £59,000 Sold, sub­ject to contract


South­cott Wood is sit­u­ated in a very quiet val­ley close to the mar­ket town of Barn­sta­ple.  The site is a mix of mature ancient wood­land and old mead­ows, now revert­ing back to wood­land.  Slop­ing ground gives rise to some fine views, while a new track sys­tem has recently been installed in the wood, pro­vid­ing good access throughout.

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From North Devon Link Road
•     At the first round­about approach­ing Barn­sta­ple from the east, turn right on the A39, signed Barn­sta­ple and Lyn­ton.
•    Con­tinue through two small round­about towards the town cen­tre.  At third round­about turn right, signed town cen­tre, Ilfra­combe and Lyn­ton.
•    Turn right again at next round­about, signed Braun­ton, Ilfra­combe and Lyn­ton (still A39).
•    Take the right hand lane and turn right at the next set of traf­fic lights, signed Goodleigh and Brat­ton Flem­ing
•    Fol­low this road for three miles, along the Yeo river val­ley, until you come to a right hand turn, by Chelfham School and a large rail­way viaduct.  Turn right here.
•    The wood­land entrance is 600 metres on the right, next to a small yard and just before a steep hill.
•    The gate is cur­rently pad­locked; please con­tact Stephen Lees at Wildlife Wood­lands to arrange access.
•    A small a stone tim­ber stack­ing and park­ing area is 50 yards on the right.  Park here and walk along the main track, bear­ing right after four hun­dred yards.  The track descends to a bridge, with fur­ther park­ing and tim­ber load­ing area on the other side.
•    South­cott Wood lies to the left and above the new track.  You can walk around the wood by fol­low­ing this track.  Turn left at the junc­tion and fol­low this track around the wood up to the higher lev­els.  A turn­ing cir­cle is near the end, before the track con­tin­ues into Eas­t­a­cott Wood.
•    The north­ern bound­ary with Eas­t­a­cott Wood is an old Devon hedge, farm­land lies to the west, while the south­ern bound­ary fol­lows a small gully and stream, also marked by an old sheep fence.  The park­ing and tim­ber stack­ing area at the bridge is shared with Eas­t­a­cott Wood.

Near­est rail­way sta­tion: Barn­sta­ple 5 miles

Map of Woodland

Southcott Wood map

Loca­tion Map


South­cott Wood is a mix of mature ancient wood­land and younger sec­ondary wood­land, the lat­ter prob­a­bly devel­op­ing since the Sec­ond World War.

The areas of ancient wood­land have a mix­ture of tim­ber species, with oak, ash, beech and sycamore most com­mon, with wild cherry, alder and sil­ver birch also present.  Hazel is the pre­dom­i­nant shrub, with some more open areas on the higher slopes being dom­i­nated by bracken, but giv­ing wide­spread views from the top track.  There is con­sid­er­able dead tim­ber within both woods, partly a result of very lit­tle man­age­ment in pre­vi­ous years.  This does pro­vide a good habi­tat, but per­haps the wood would ben­e­fit from some clear­ing to encour­age more nat­ural regen­er­a­tion and fur­ther increase the wood­land diversity.

A new track has been installed around the woods, includ­ing a new bridge pro­vid­ing vehi­cle access.  A large stone park­ing bay and tim­ber stor­age area has been formed on the west bank of the stream, and this is shared with Eas­t­a­cott Wood.

A small herd of red deer reg­u­larly pass through the wood, which has been man­aged as a sanc­tu­ary against hunt­ing by the League Against Cruel Sports, and foxes and bad­gers are also res­i­dent.  Wood­cock are reg­u­lar win­ter vis­i­tors and ravens often fly overhead.

A local fire­wood con­trac­tor is work­ing on the site, clear­ing trees cut for the new tracks, and the inten­tion is for this work to con­tinue and extend into a thin­ning pro­gramme for the wood.  How­ever, this can be at the dis­cre­tion of a new owner, who may wish to retain some or all of the fire­wood for their own use.

Hake­ford Wood and mead­ows, on the west­ern side of the stream is being used to run For­est School activ­i­ties for local school­child­ren.  If signs are in place on your visit please respect them, and ensure any dogs are on a lead until you pass into Eas­t­a­cott Wood.

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Free­hold, reg­is­tered land.  Sport­ing rights are held by the League Against Cruel Sports.  Any deer or squir­rel man­age­ment arrange­ments have to be agreed in advance with the League.

The Local Area

The near­est town is Barn­sta­ple, a busy mar­ket town with a range of facil­i­ties.
Also within easy reach are the pop­u­lar beach resorts of Woola­combe and Morthoe, with Ilfa­combe a lit­tle fur­ther away.  Woola­combe has recently been voted the best beach in Britain, and one of Europe’s top five!  Chelfham Woods are close to the east­ern parts of Exmoor National Park, with the National Trust’s Arling­ton Court a pop­u­lar destination.


Chelfham Station

Chelfham Rail­way Station


Woola­combe  © copy­right Ron Strutt


Arling­ton Court © copy­right Peter Kazmier­czak


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