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Ventongimps Moor Nature Reserve

This nature reserve is an exceptionally rich mosaic of wet and dry heath, with areas of bog, ponds and woodland. This combination provides a unique series of habitats, once widespread, but now restricted to a few special places.

Location of Ventongimps Moor nature reserveHabitat type
: Heathland and woodland
Size of reserve: 8 hectares / 20 acres
OS map number: 105
Grid reference: SW 780 514 (main entrance in north of reserve from village)
Best time to visit: All year

County Wildlife SiteLoose livestock possible Flowers in seasonInformation BoardInteresting insectsAmphibians on siteButterflies in seasonBirdwatching availableSite of Special Scientific Interest
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On the A30, 1.5 miles (2.5 km) south west of Zelah, take the turning for Ventongimps. After 1.5 miles (2.5 km), turn left at a T-junction and then first left. Entry to the reserve is from a footpath 25 metres up the road on the left.

Ventongimps Moor, photo by Liz CartwrightAccess
Limited parking near the entrance. Paths in between the sections of boardwalk can get very muddy and stout footwear is recommended.

Characteristic wildlife of this reserve
Dorset heath is a rare plant in the British Isles, and Cornwall has the second largest area, 106 hectares, of the habitat in which it occurs, after the plant’s main stronghold in Dorset. This attractive heather, with its long spikes of deep magenta, urn-shaped flowers, blooms late in the summer, from June to September. In Cornwall, Dorset heath is concentrated in 17 main sites to the north and west of Truro, remnants of a once more extensive heathland in mid-Cornwall.

Round-leaved sundew, photo by Liz CartwrightThe ponds provide an excellent habitat for dragonflies and damselflies. Damselflies are usually smaller than dragonflies and rest with their wings together over their backs; dragonflies hold their wings out to the sides at rest.

The round-leaved sundew is a distinctive small perennial. Its leaves are covered in reddish hairs tipped with a sticky 'dew' to trap unsuspecting insects. Other hairs and the leaf margin then curl inwards to enclose them. The plant secretes digestive juices and the liquified insect is absorbed by the leaf, replacing nutrients missing from the poor moorland soil. It has been estimated that one sundew can catch up to 2000 insects in a summer.

Other information
Earliest mention of the Moor was in 1311 as 'Funtenvaes'. Fenten means spring or well.

In 1977, aircraft enthusiasts found the remains of a Second World War bomber. The aircraft was taken away for restoration and the hole formed a valuable new pond.