The Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve a beautiful, 40 acre area of public open space just outside St Ives. If you take the road out towards Carbis Bay and take a right after the Cornish Arms and take the left hand fork in the road, it will take you up to the reserve.
There are laybys to park in – it is usually quite easy to park up there.
There are 3 main areas of the nature reserve which you can explore.
On the right hand side of the road is Steeple Woods. This is a very old, mature woodland with mainly beech and oak trees. In the past the trees were used as a sustainable supply of timber and so many of the trees were coppiced or pollarded. This no longer happens and the old trees have now grown into some weird and wonderful shapes.
The woods are a lovely place to explore and walk dogs. However, do take care of disused mine shafts as there are a few in the area.
Trelyon Downs is the area below Cock Hill on the south side of Steeple Lane. Work has been done by the nature reserve to plant native trees and wildflowers. This has helped to improve the habitat for wildlife and the areas is now flourishing.
Right at the top of the reserve, on the hill known as Cock Hill is Knill’s Monument.
Around this is an open area of heathland. Work done by the volunteers to help promote native plants as helped lowland heath plants to thrive. Here you can find lots of heather, gorse, bracken and lichens. It is really beautiful, especially looking down over St Ives Bay – what a view!
The nature reserve is maintained by volunteers. Anyone can come along and volunteers, no matter your age, ability or experience.
Work parties are held every Wednesday morning, and also on the 1st Sunday of each month. They do activities such as rhododendron clearing, pathway maintenance, habitat management and tree planting. All the necessary tools and gloves are provided, but please do wear sturdy footwear.
Call Giles on 01736 798 908 for more information or go to the nature reserve website or facebook page.
You can pick up the St Michael’s Way path at Steeple Woodland. It is a 3.5 mile walk along it to Lelant, or an 8.5 mile walk to Marazion. We have never done it but I’ve been told it is a beautiful moorland walk.
The nature reserve holds an open day every September. It is a lovely community event with lots of music, storytelling, activities and stalls. We have attended many of these open days and they are really lovely events.
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