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Stover Country Park (Devon)

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Nature park with walk paths

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      21.11.2009 18:16
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      A must see.

      Firstly I am so surprised that this place hasn't been reviewed yet, I love this nature reserve, its a place I enjoy with my daughter as often as possible.

      Stover Country Park is situated between Bovey Tracey and Newton Abbot in South Devon. Turn off the A38 at A382 Newton Abbot turn off.

      It's 114 acre of woodland, lake and marsh provide a fantastic opportunity for visitors to enjoy getting close up to nature as either a visitor wanting to enjoy a picnic whilst surrounded by this fantastic scenery or as a serious nature enthusiast. Maybe you just want a pleasant environment to walk the dogs.

      Wildlife-

      The wildlife you can encounter at Stover is immense, stemming from midges and dragonflies, to various species of ducks and birds, many species of mammals, bats, reptiles and amphibians, and lest not forget the mini beasts!

      The woodland area is stunning and will introduce you to many different tree and plant varieties.


      WALKS -

      There are around 3 main trails -

      Ted Hughes Poetry Trails - approximately a 2 mile walk, this is a children's
      trail and follows a path with poetry posts along the route, each post displaying a Ted Hughes Poem that relates to wildlife and nature. Along the children's path you get to trail off from the main path and walk through the woodland searching for hand carved animals along the way. I normally encounter squirrels along this part of the park. The poetry trail is wheel chair and push chair accessible but the children's trail into the woodland may be a bit more difficult to navigate around with a wheelchair!.

      The Circular Walk-

      This walk takes you right around the lake with benches and picnic benches along the way. Information posts that offer further information about the wildlife you may see. lots of info referring to different species. These posts are very enjoyable for children to refer to as well as they like to try to spot different species along the walk.

      This trail is suitable for wheelchairs.

      The Heritage trail is aimed at the more adventurous walkers and also includes a designated cycle route through the northern part of the park.

      Aerial Walkway -

      This is fun for the children, its a wooden platform/ walkway taking you a distance into the woodland and giving you a fantastic aerial view of the woodland, this makes it possible to view the wildlife in an undisturbed behaviour. Along the sides of the wooden platform are carved activities for children to enjoy.

      THE LAKE -

      The lake itself is vast and picturesque.


      VISITOR CENTRE

      I hadn't been in the visitor centre before today but I was very glad my daughter nagged me to go in, we were lucky as it was soon closing for lunch break.

      The centre describes itself as a nature interpretation centre, it has exhibits of different animal habitats, over sized hand carved wooden nature puzzles, lots of pictures and information. However, my absolute favourite was the interactive CCTV cameras. One camera is a fixed view on a nest box, the other is situated at the side of the lake, but with the easy use joystick you can control the camera getting a live view of the lake and it's inhabitants. This was a huge hit with my daughter I think that she could have happily have spent hours on it.

      This centre is currently open form 10- 12-30 and 1-30 til 4.pm.

      The rangers office is located within the centre and this is where you can borrow wheelchairs if necessary.

      You can purchase duck feed from the ranger.

      FACILITIES

      There is a large picnic area near the Nature centre, but there are other picnic spots around the park.

      There are public toilets including a disabled toilet. The ladies toilet does have a baby changing facility.

      Dog litter bins are situated around the park.

      Car park - The car park charges 75p for 2 hours and £1.30 for all day (charges apply from dawn until dusk). There are 2 ticket machines at the entrance of the park. I personally would suggest you stop off on your way in to get your ticket as it is a bit of a walk from the far end of the car park. There is also disabled parking bays.

      Ice-cream van - He appears to be there all year round (as I found out today, a miserable wet November day) He serves hot and cold refreshments as well as ice-creams.

      My Overall Opinion.

      Its great, it appeals to all ages and all abilities, there really is something there that will appeal to everyone. Today is a cold, wet and miserable day, it took me and my daughter around 30 mins to walk around the circular trail taking in the children's trail and the aerial walkway. My daughter had her scooter but we didn't rush around by any means and despite the weather my daughter really enjoyed the walk and didn't complain once, which is unlike her.

      This is a super place to visit in the summer, definitely worth taking a picnic along, but it really is still an enjoyable place in rubbish weather.

      5/5 Great family day out with lots to look at and keep the children interested. I'm sure this would make a great school trip. If you are in the area then do take the time to visit it, you wont regret it.

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