Emsworthy Nature Reserve: bluebells and screech owls

Close your eyes and you will still see me, the succulent scent of native bluebells fills the air as I approach the traditional dry-stone walls of Emsworthy Nature Reserve. I can hear wheatears and meadow pipits as they join the cuckoo’s chorus in the shadow of Haytor.

This land was once a medieval farmstead but is now a premium location for those seek to witness a bluebell meadow. The original outbuildings can still be explored in the form of ruins with the farmhouse having been converted into a striking red roofed barn. The area used to be openingly grazed by animals on the commons but has now been sectioned off to allow for the recovery of the surrounding mire as well as the cultivation of the famous bluebells.


After exploring the park I decided to follow the disused tram line towards Haytor quarry where granite was historically extracted and transported to Teignmouth for the European market.

The complete trail, known as Templer Way, covers 18 miles and would make a comfortable day hike but on his occasion I decided to head up to Haytor and complete a circular allowing me to make a number of pony friends and cross the magnificent Saddle Tor, popular as a bouldering destination.



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