2miles/
3.2kms

Stover Country Park

About this route

Stover offers a range of facilities to help you enjoy the Park and appreciate the natural surroundings.  Its 114 acres of woodland, heathland, grassland, lake and marsh provide a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a wide range of activities from an afternoon picnic to serious nature study. The Nature Interpretation Centre offers high-quality displays explaining the  plants and wildlife found at Stover. There are also two CCTV links, one to a nest box and the other to a pole in the marsh showing the lake and its inhabitants.

The Aerial Walkway, suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, gives a tree-top perspective of one of Stover’s woodlands.

The Ted Hughes Poetry Trail (2 miles) and Children’s Trail takes in specially designed Poetry Posts each displaying a poem by Ted Hughes on a theme relating to wildlife of the natural world.

Getting Around

Car Park, with disabled spaces, close to Visitor Centre.

Facilities
Accessible toilets. Fully accessible bird hide. Refreshment van. Picnic tables.
Terrain
Circular lakeside path, well-surfaced and wide (assistance may be required at wooden bridges). Aerial walkway.
Accessibility
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Interesting information

The Stover story begins with the fairytale story of James Templer, a young orphan boy, running away to sea and making his fortune. On his return in 1765 he purchased an 80,000 acre (32,400ha) estate on the edge of Dartmoor and set about building Stover House (now an independent school) and landscaping the grounds, much of which now forms the Country Park.

The main feature of the Park is the 10 acre (4ha) lake and marsh, especially important for dragonflies, The lake provides a sanctuary for an abundance of wildfowl and, in winter, flocks of snipe use the marsh as a daytime roost.

Extensive deciduous and coniferous woodland interspersed with pockets of lowland heath provide habitats for a wide range of visiting and resident wildlife. The ever-present grey squirrel is a constant companion at a picnic table while the shy roe deer and dormouse keep to the quieter areas of the Park.

During the winter, huge flocks of greenfinches escaping the cold weather find shelter and protection in the trees, where in the summer spotted flycatcher and tawny owl breed. Areas of heath are being reinstated in order to attract birds like the nightjar, adders and a wide variety of insects. Stover is particularly rich in plant life including some unusual and rare species. An abundance of flora attracts numerous butterflies, including the white admiral and other insects which, in turn, serve to pollinate the flowers.  The Country Park is also host to a wide variety of fungi species which appear mainly during the autumn months.

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