Dorothy Farrer's Spring Wood

image of a Bluebell wood at Dorothy farrers spring wood - copyright john morrison

Bluebells at Dorothy Farrer's Spring Wood Nature Reserve © John Morrison

This upland oak woodland is rich in mosses, ferns and liverworts. Bluebells and wild garlic carpet the wood in the spring and both pied and spotted flycatchers and redstarts are seen.



OS Map Reference

sheet no. 97
Grid reference SD 482 984
A static map of Dorothy Farrer's Spring Wood

Know before you go

5 hectares

Entry fee

All donations are gratefully received.

Parking information


Bicycle parking


Grazing animals


Walking trails

Each of the three woods can be linked to make a walk of 1.2km/0.8 miles. The paths are steep in places with steps on the steepest sections.


The reserve lies approximately 100m from a public road and is reached by a public footpath crossing a field which can be muddy.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to July, September to November

About the reserve

Wildlife highlights

  • An abundance of vibrant bluebells, with early-purple orchid, herb-paris and the distinctive scent of wild garlic completing the scene
  • Birdwatchers will appreciate visits in spring and early summer when pied and spotted flycatchers, redstart, willow warbler, blackcap, great spotted woodpecker, nuthatch and treecreeper may be seen and heard
  • The woodland is rich in mosses, ferns and liverworts, particularly in areas of High Wood

What makes Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood so special?

Coppicing ceased in the 1940s but was resumed by the Trust in 1989. Thanks to deer exclusion, the coppice re-growth has been excellent and the nature reserve is alive with birds and brimming with bluebells, violets and foxgloves.

Woodland history

The nature reserve is made up of three areas of oak woodland: High Wood, Dorothy Farrer’s Spring Wood and Beddard’s Wood.

Historically managed as coppice woodland to produce bobbins, swill baskets and charcoal, signs of this past industry can be seen in pitsteads (level platforms on which charcoal kilns were built) around the nature reserve.  

Recent history

The original area was given to the Trust in 1969 by the Nicholson family. High Wood was purchased by the Trust in 1994 with the help of Trust members, and Beddard's Wood was given to the Trust in 2000 by Mrs Anne Beddard.

Getting here

By car:

From Staveley take the road signed for Kentmere. At the Kentmere Paper Factory turn right over the bridge signed for Burneside. Follow the road for 1km/0.6 miles. Park in the layby and follow the footpath to the reserve entrance.

By bicycle:

The reserve is 1.6km/1 mile from National Route 6 Greenwich to Keswick.

By public transport:

Trains run from Kendal and Windermere to Staveley. Buses run from Kendal, Windermere and Ambleside to Staveley.

Contact us

Joe Murphy
Contact number: 01539 816300

Environmental designation

Local Wildlife Site (LWS)

Upcoming events at Dorothy Farrer's Spring Wood Nature Reserve

If there are any upcoming events at Dorothy Farrer's Spring Wood Nature Reserve we'll show them to you below.