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Rosenannon Downs Nature Reserve

The Downs is an extensive tract of heathland, once more widespread in this part of Cornwall. Close to the road, a mire has developed, fed by many small springs and streams. Woodland and heath support a wide range of habitats and species.

Location of Rosenannon Downs nature reserve
Habitat type
: Lowland heath, valley mire and woodland
Size of reserve: 111 hectares / 274 acres
OS map number: 106
Grid reference: SW 956 676
Best time to visit: All year

County Wildlife SiteScheduled Ancient MonumentSite of Special Scientific InterestFlowers hereFerns hereArchaeological InterestDragonflies hereWildlife here
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Directions
From the A30 near Victoria, take the B3274 towards Padstow. Take the second right turn, then first left towards Rosenannon. Go down the hill through the village on the Wadebridge road. The Downs lie either side of the road.

Access
Limited roadside parking. Various tracks and paths give access across the reserve, but these can be wet and muddy.

Characteristic wildlife of this reserve
The boggy areas have large populations of bog asphodel, round leaved sundew and pale butterwort. Bog asphodel, a member of the lily family, with spiky yellow star-like flowers, blooms in July and its warm orange fruit capsule lasts until September. The yellow seeds have long tails at each end which help them to float and disperse in flood water.

Cornish bladderseed grows on the southern edge of the Downs on the edge of the scrub.

Small heath, grayling and green hairstreak butterflies can be seen on summer days on the short heath areas.

Skylarks are rather drab in appearance, but their songflight is exhilarating. The little bird rises up and up with quivering wings, singing all the while as though it were full of the joy of life. It rises until it becomes a mere dot in the sky, where it may stay for several minutes. Then it descends, haltingly and still singing until, when it is near the ground, it suddenly drops to earth.

Other information
Three Bronze Age barrows are present on site, part of a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Rosenannon Downs is a common which has not been grazed since the 1960's. An application from the Trust has recently been approved by the Secretary of State for the Environment for the Downs to be fenced to enable cattle grazing to take place to bring much needed habitat management to this important lowland heath. Further details of this proposal can be found on our Rosenannon and Tregonetha Downs Proposals page.