Stover Country Park Local Nature Reserve, Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

Stover Country Park Local Nature Reserve, Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor National Park

Dartmoor Zoo, the National Trust's Buckland Abbey and many other major visitor attractions are located just beyond the border of the National Park. Clearly, lots of people visit them when on holiday in Dartmoor which is why we include them on this site. Another superb attraction just beyond the eastern border of Dartmoor, between Bovey Tracey and Newton Abbot, is Stover County Park Local Nature Reserve.

Centred on a beautiful lake, the birdlife is exceptional. Devon County Council have enhanced this natural beauty and birdlife with an aerial walkway, Children's Trail and The Ted Hughes Poetry Trail. There's a visitor centre, bird hide and arboretum. The Templer Way, a long distance walking route, runs through the Country Park. Inspired by the Templer Way, there's also a shorter, circular Heritage Trail which 'is a level circular walk of 4 miles which can be followed in either direction'. Habitats include coniferous woodland, grassland, heathland, marshland, lakes and ponds and deciduous woodland. On sunny, Autumnal mornings, this place is sublime.

We've positioned Stover Country Park Local Nature Reserve on Google maps so zoom in on the 'Satellite' setting to see its location. To visit, take the A382 off the A38. Very shortly after the roundabout, as you drive towards Newton Abbot, you'll see a big sign at the entrance to the Country Park. There's lots of parking next to the visitor centre.

Whilst there are maps around Stover Country Park telling you where you can go and what you can see, if time's short we'd recommend walking around the lake. Along the route, you'll see many posts on which are poems by Ted Hughes. These are part of The Ted Hughes Poetry Trail.

If you head anti-clockwise from the visitor centre, you'll come to a walkway with super views across the water. This leads to more information boards* and the aerial walkway that pushes out into the trees high above the woodland floor. The aerial walkway loops back to the side of the lake. Continue anti-clockwise and you'll come to signposts for the Templer Way and Heritage Trail. You're now at the far end of the lake. Again, the views back are wonderful. Cross the wooden bridge and read the heritage board that provides a history of the local area. You're now heading back in the direction of the visitor centre. Pass a pond and detour around the arboretum with its poems and sculptures. You'll then pass the pinetum. Last, spend some time in the bird hide before returning to the visitor centre.

Other routes take you into the woodland surrounding the lake.

There are lots of nature reserves in this part of Devon including the East Dartmoor National Nature Reserve.

*These boards provide information on:
Historic Landscape
Pond Life
Stover Lake
What's That Water Bird
Coniferous Plantations