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Chyverton Nature Reserve

The reserve consists of flower-rich meadows, ancient Cornish hedgerows, areas of mixed woodland and a scrape; a shallow pool. In the past the site had become overgrown and the heathland was reverting to woodland, but through a combination of scrub clearance and grazing, the heathland is now being maintained. Because the meadows have been largely unimproved for agricultural purposes, they provide a variety of habitats for a diverse range of wildlife.

Location of Chyverton nature reserve
Habitat type:
Heathland, grassland and woodland
Size of reserve: 4 hectares / 10 acres
OS map number: 104
Grid reference: SW 791 514
Best time to visit: Summer for flowering meadows

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Part of the reserve lies within the Carrick Heaths Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a collection of 10 sites within a 12 km radius of Truro, characterised by populations of Dorset heath. From A30 heading east, go left after Marazanvose. After 1 mile (1.6 km) is a small pull-in on the left and a wooden gate between two granite posts.

Chyverton stile, photo Cornwall Wildlife TrustAccess
Roadside parking and way marked path. Access to the reserve is via a track which runs through the woodland. The track can be wet and muddy so wellies are recommended!

Characteristic wildlife of this reserve
Dorset heath is a rare plant in the British Isles and Cornwall has the second largest area of the species of any county. It is a long-lived and vigorous shrub. Individual stems have survived for up to 20 years, It is found on wetter heathland here, flowering from June to September.

Southern marsh orchid, photo by Alex HowieThe southern marsh orchid likes wet and marshy ground. Its erect multi-bloomed flowering spikes vary from pale pinkish-lilac to deep mauve and can be seen from May to early summer.

Other information
Cornish hedges are stone-faced banks filled with earth and are an excellent wildlife habitat in their own right. They support a variety of plant species and also provide refuge, shelter and food for many birds, mammals and invertebrates.