Location SS434273
Road Access Turning off A3236 close to A39
Habitat Grazed grassland, young trees and pond complex, mature relict woodland.
Size 12 ha
Access Members only – combination lock number needed. Please park considerately so that the farm gate access is always clear
Site Manager  
Tenure Owned by Devon Birds

Godborough Castle

Places to GoGodborough Castle

The Godborough Castle Reserve is  relatively small but well worth a  visit if you’re in the North Devon area. (OS 434 273). This reserve was a ‘greenfield site’, established in the late 1990s and it is developing rapidly.

Devon Birds members and volunteers have planted thousands of trees and berry carrying shrubs to create burgeoning scrub woodland. There are pockets of tumble-down grassland that provide feeding grounds for Buzzard and Green Woodpeckers and are home to other species such as marbled white butterfly. Peregrine, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk are regular visitors.  Tawny Owl are resident and a Long-eared Owl has been seen in the past. Relict woodland and hedgebanks support a variety of common bird species,including a full range of warblers. In winter the berry carrying shrubs are a major attraction for fieldfares and redwings. The top of the reserve is the highest point locally and is a good spot to watch for spring and autumn migrants.

A small pond complex has been constructed to provide variety in habitat and a feeding ground for hirundines and bats. New tree planting has been completed and the emphasis is now switching to routine management, including regular coppicing of some areas. There remain large areas of sheep-grazed grassland, in part to maintain the rich floristic diversity of a large south-facing slope. Consequently, dogs are not allowed on the reserve under any circumstances.

Future plans include provision of a scrape for winter visiting snipe and jack snipe and sowing of “finch” mixtures to attract yellowhammers in particular. All three species were common in the valley 30 years ago and are now scarce visitors.

There is ample parking space at the entrance to the reserve (but please do not obstruct the gateway, the reserve is a ‘working farm’ and access for tractors is needed at all times).  There is additional space for cars on the roadside.