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Folly Farm

A reminder of how the English countryside used to be before World War Two

Wildflower meadows and woodland surround the Folly Farm Centre at the heart of Folly Farm, a 250-acre nature reserve between Bath and Bristol which offers spectacular views over Chew Valley Lake and the Mendips.

The meadows are of a type now rare in Britain. Unspoilt by pesticides and fertilisers, in summer they are brimming with flowers such as betony, ox-eye daisy and heath spotted orchid. In late summer, they are covered with drifts of black knapweed and devil's-bit scabious which attract butterflies such as ringlet, small tortoiseshell, gatekeeper and marbled white.

The woodland floor of Dowling's Wood is extremely rich in springtime flowers, such as primrose, bluebell and early purple orchid. An extensive badger sett can be seen from the Access for All path in the woodland. Look out for nuthatch, buzzard and great spotted woodpecker. Tawny owls also nest and roost on the farm.

The wildflower meadows and Dowlings Wood are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The Folly Farm Centre is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trust.

Species and habitats

Meadow, Woodland

Nearby nature reserves

Burledge Hill
1 miles - Avon Wildlife Trust
Stephen's Vale
3 miles - Avon Wildlife Trust
Chew Valley Lake
3 miles - Avon Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

The Folly Farm Centre, Stowey, Pensford
BS39 4DW
Map reference
ST 607 604
Great for...
a family day out
ancient trees
getting away from it all
historical interest
spring flowers
stunning views
Best time to visit
Mar - Jul
Sep - Nov
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Visitor centre
Picnic facilities
Disabled toilet
Baby changing
14.87 hectares

Public footpaths access the whole reserve. Some pathways are on hillsides and can be muddy when wet. Access for all trails allow access for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are a variety of walking options avaliable within grassland and woodland.
Walking information
Access for all trails allow access for wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are a varity of walking options avaliable within grassland and woodland. Some paths are on hill sides so can be slippery and muddy
Parking within visitor car park on site
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Avon Wildlife Trust
Tel: 0117 917 7277
Avon Wildlife Trust


Factsheets and guides for your visit