Yarner Woods is located on the eastern edge of Dartmoor National Park, Devon. This diverse woodland valley comprising of a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees and bushes is home to many specialist woodland birds. It is surrounded by heather moorland, rich habitat for more birds and wildlife.
When and Where
The reserve car park opens at 9am but you can access the woodlands on foot before then. There is a small parking area on the moor a little further north from the entrance to Yarner, where you can park your vehicle and walk into the valley. Keep an eye out for Yellowhammer, Redpoll, Siskin, Stonechat and Dartford Warbler as you walk across the gorse covered tops. From the visitor center there are plenty of footpaths leading off around the woodlands, all signposted. There are also visitor toilets here too. During the winter months, feeders are kept full and can be viewed from two of the three hides, giving very close views of Marsh, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Siskin, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Bullfinch. The end of February through March and into early April is probably the best time to visit if you want the chance to see the elusive Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. These sparrow-sized birds are at their most active and the trees are still bare of leaves. They can still be very hard to see though! April sees the arrival of summer breeders and Pied Flycatchers, Spotted Flycatchers and Redstarts sing from everywhere, claiming territories. Wood Warblers were once a common sight at Yarner, but in recent years they have become absent and appear to be lost as a breeding bird. Warblers will have also arrived back from wintering quarters in Africa and Willow and Garden Warblers, Chiffchaff and Blackcap can be heard and seen. On the surrounding Moors Tree Pipits, Cuckoo, Wheatear, Whinchat and Grasshopper Warbler and Whitethroat can all be seen.
Resident Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Mistle Thrush, Marsh Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Goldcrest, Lesser Redpoll, Great Spotted, Lesser Spotted and Green Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Yellowhammer.
Summer visitors: Pied and Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Tree Pipit, Common Redstart, Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler, Wheatear, Whinchat, Cuckoo, Nightjar.
By car: From Bovey Tracey, take the B3387 to Manaton (Dont take the left fork to Haytor!) After about 1.5 miles you will see signs for Yarner Wood car park on the left.
The nearest bus and railway stations are at Newton Abbot and the town is served by a number of bus coach and rail links.