Edgehills Bog Nature Reserve, Gloucestershire


★★★★

Boggy pool
Heath bedstraw

Small, remote nature reserve; pools and boggy land on a ridgetop on the east side of the Forest of Dean, home to a variety of heath-specific plants
Location
Along a forest track 0.5 miles north of Cinderford; GL14 2QX
Photo Tour (13 images)
Edgehills Bog is one of the smaller and more remote nature reserves in Gloucestershire, situated on top of the eastern boundary ridge of the Forest of Dean, between Mitcheldean and Cinderford, reached by a half mile walk. Most of the ridge is thickly wooded, a mix of oak and conifer plantations, but for this area, partly cleared in the 1980s, the land is open and boggy, covered mostly by bracken and heather, and it represents one of the few remaining examples of wet heath in the county, home to a range of habitat-specific wildflowers including foxglove, heath violet, lousewort, heath milkwort, heath bedstraw and heath groundsel. Also present are various sedges, rushes, mosses and grasses.

The place is quite intensively managed, to maintain water levels and reduce the growth of trees and bushes, a process helped by a herd of sheep who graze here at some times of the year. The bog is accessed only by grassy tracks (closed to public vehicles), and the place has a peaceful, isolated ambience, with no sign of development apart from two communications towers, taking advantage of the high elevation and unobstructed line-of-sight.



Access


The usual access to Edgehills Bog is from the south, parking at the gated entrance to a forest track, along Causeway Road on the north edge of Cinderford, beside which is parking space for several vehicles. A fence, gate and notice marking the boundary of the nature reserve are 0.5 miles north, reached after forking right at the only major junction en route, after 800 feet. The boggy, partly cleared area extends for 0.4 miles along the west side of the track, though it is unclear whether all is part of the reserve. The main centre of interest is a pair of shallow ponds near south edge of the reserve, reached by a short path; further north is at least one more, shallower pond, and many tiny streams. The close-up scenery of the bog is not so interesting, but the general landscape of this part of the forest is quite photogenic, with grassy, wildflower-lined tracks and dense trees on all sides. At the north side of the open area, the access track continues through the woods for another 0.7 miles to an alternative entry point along the A4136 at Plump Hill.