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Butterfly Trail
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 5/5)

Grade of Trail:

  • Moderate

Trail Waymarking:


Length of trail:

3 miles

Trail is currently open


The Butterfly Trail is a circular walk, which, in places gives you stunning views across the forest and over the Teign valley.

The three mile waymarked route takes you down to the butterfly area, and as the name suggests this area is managed especially for butterflies!

Throughout the year Forestry Commission staff, in conjunction with Butterfly Conservation, monitors and manages the area to provide ideal conditions for the many butterfly species recorded here.

Bracken is allowed to dominate some of the open areas as, here on Haldon, this provides the perfect conditions for one of Britain's rarest butterflies, the pearl bordered fritillary.

Thanks to the management carried out here this butterfly has established a good strong population making it an important site for this drastically declining species.

Over 30 species of butterfly have been recorded within this small area.

What do other visitors say?

5 Stars 5 Stars

great fun.loved the views

steve, 23/Sep/2014

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What's Here?

  • Play area
  • Arboreta
  • Features 200 species of conifers and broadleaves - many interesting species.
  • Camping
  • The Covert Caravan Club Site is located adjacent to High Ash. Set in Forestry Commission woodland, this is a quiet, secluded site ideal for caravanners, motor caravanners and trailer tenters. Please telephone 01842 878356 for more information.
  • Horse riding
  • The Forestry Commission has a Open Access policy for horse riding. As a consequence there are very few way-marked trails in the forest. O.S.Explorer map 229 shows areas owned by the Forestry Commission and open to the public to ride. Deboxing areas can be found at the east end of the Harling Drove (FR23) and north of the railway line at Santon Downham. The areas north of the railway line are best suited to horse riding as this is away from the concentration of visitors using High Lodge and the cycling trails. Please observe all signs especially those relating to 'Forest Operation'.
  • Picnic
  • You are welcome to picnic here but please do not BBQ.
  • Walking
  • The 5 mile Orange walk (short cut available) can also be accessed from Santon Downham. It has interpretation around the walk on some of the fascinating history and wildlife of the area. A map of the walk around St Helens and Santon Downham is available from Forest Office (office hours only), or you could dowload a copy before you visit.
  • Visitor centre
  • The
  • Wildlife
  • A good site for wildlife watching.
More about what's here


Map showing the local area
OS Grid ref: SX884849

Get directions


Haldon Forest Park
Ranger's Office
0300 067 5826

Useful sites

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification certifiedForest Stewardship Council certified