About this route

Halsdon consists of a mixture of ancient woodland, floodplain meadows and a magnificent length of the River Torridge immortalised by the tale of Tarka the Otter. The woodland is predominantly of oak, but other species are present including the uncommon Devon whitebeam and wild service tree. The woodland has a rich ground flora including primroses, wild garlic and broad-leaved helleborine. Marshy fields alongside the river support such plants as devil’s bit scabious and march cinquefoil. Kingfishers and dippers can be seen, and all three species of woodpecker breed in the reserve. Halsdon is a favoured haunt for otters and the river is famous for its run of salmon.

Getting Around

By car: From Great Torrington take the B3220 south-east to Beaford. From here, take the minor road towards Dolton and then the next right turn. Follow this road for about 1.5 miles until you reach a track on the right with a Devon Wildlife Trust sign (SS 577133). Follow this to the Ashwell car park or continue on the minor road to the Quarry car park.

A number of tracks and way-marked trails (including 900m of easy access path from the Quarry car park). Access to the valley bottom fields and river is by permit only in the summer months, and in the winter it is requested that no more than two people walk together (no dogs in the riverside areas).
Unsurfaced footpaths / tacks. 900m of easy access path from the car park.

Interesting information

Halsdon is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Photo of a green woodpecker
Green Woodpecker Copyright Natural England - Allan Drewitt

You can explore more in this area

Photo of the top of a waymarking post for the Coast Path and Tarka Trail