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Explore Nightingale Wood
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.7/5)


Nightingale Wood in South Marston, nr Swindon, is a unique wildlife site.

It is a new community woodland planted in the 1990's with a wetland area on an ex-agricultural site. The site supports a large variety of wildlife especially birds. The mixed trees here are still in the early stages of growth but already a new woodland can be seen to be emerging.

Nightingale Wood has a main car park with a small number of picnic tables and a choice of three easy access trails to choose from. The Great Western Community Forest project has produced a downloadable leaflet for Nightingale which can be accessed via the link under 'useful sites'.

There are hard surface paths throughout the three waymarked trails on site.  Trim trail equipment suitable for all ages was installed in 2009 with funding from the Great Western Community Forest project.

Heron Walk
  • Easy
The longest of the walking trails in Nightingale Wood.
Kestrel Walk
  • Easy
a short walking trail passing the wildlife viewing area.
Nightingale Walk
  • Easy
The shortest walking trail at Nightingale Wood.

What do other visitors say?

4 Stars 4 Stars

A very pleasant bank holiday walk - a well maintained, quiet and wheelchair friendly woodland. A small criticism: bird hide looked interesting but lacked information and seemed uncared for.

Robert Drury, 30/Aug/2016

Thank you for your comments. The bird hide has only recently been painted and repaired after it was vandalised. We would hope in the future to make more of a feature of it.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Recommended to us - so came with our small dog this morning - I can't believe I've lived in Swindon for 6 years and didn't know about it. We were able to let our small dog off the lead knowing he was safe from roads and other big dogs - peaceful, flat, beautiful - we completely loved it and will become regular visitors now - thank you

Debbie Barnes, 7/Jun/2016

We are so glad that you enjoyed your visit and had such a lovely experience. We hope to see you again soon! Thank you for the feedback

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

Lovely little woods, great fun for kids bike rides.

Anyone know if small off ground bbq's are allowed in the parking area?

Stanny, 28/May/2016

Thank you for your email. We are pleased to hear that you enjoy these community woodlands. We are happy for you to have a small BBQ in the car park area but ask that these are kept off of the ground and are not placed on any of our picnic tables that can get damaged please. We also ask that you take all litter and used BBQ home with you at the end of your day. Enjoy!

Forestry Commission Response
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What's Here?

  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Walking
  • Wildlife
  • Nightingale wood holds a diverse variety of birdlife. A bird watching hide is available on the Heron Walk.
More about what's here


OS Grid ref: SU206883

Get directions


West England District
0300 067 4800

Family activities

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified

England's Woods and Forests are cared for by Forest Enterprise England, an agency of the Forestry Commission.