Haldon Forest Park wildlife

About this route

Haldon Forest is a structurally diverse conifer plantation covering 3,500 acres. No fewer than five species of birds of prey breed in the forest. These include the rare goshawk, as well as hobby, sparrowhawk, buzzard and kestrel.

Forestry England maintains a viewpoint offering the chance to see these magnificent birds in the flesh. There is also a bird hide which is adapted for use by wheelchairs and buggies and a new nature hide close to the main forest hub facilities.

The forest is also home to a wide variety of other wildlife, including dormice, Devon’s most important population of breeding nightjar, crossbills and a range of butterflies for which several areas are specifically managed. Species include wood white and a significant population of the rare pearl-bordered fritillary.

The dedicated ‘Butterfly Trail’ is a 3-mile circular route that takes you to an area specially managed for butterflies.  Over 30 species have been recorded here.

Getting Around

By road: 15 minutes from Exeter, turn off the A38 at Exeter Racecourse and follow the signs for forest walks. Pay and display car park open all year.

Cafe, toilets, car parking and cycle hire available. Tramper 'all-terrain' mobility scooters available to hire.
20 miles of off road routes for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. Routes vary from flat and easy to very challenging.

Interesting information

The park is managed by Forestry England and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is located just 15 minutes from Exeter.

Haldon Forest Park is the perfect place for children to explore nature and woodlands, build dens and have picnics, with a special sandy play area near the cafe. There are walking trails to suit everyone and safe, off-road cycling for families through to the experienced mountain biker.

Nordic walking and Go Ape also available at Haldon.


Photo of trails at Haldon Forest Park
Haldon Forest Park by Derek Harper

You can explore more in this area

Photo of two people mountain biking along a forest track in the snow at Haldon Forest Park

Haldon Forest Park

Just 15 minutes from Exeter, and with 3,500 acres of woodland, Haldon Forest Park has something for cyclists of all abilities.