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Explore Nightingale Wood
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.5/5)


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?

Nice little walk with lots of parking and an easy trail to follow through the woods, a beautiful mix of trees and it's just becoming established. Still needs an extra sign for the car park at the end of the Heron Walk. I was very disappointed about the huge dog poo problem. I stepped out of my car right into mess and it was disgusting, there was poo by the picnic area and all on the paths throughout the wood. Absolutely disgusting considering this is accesible for all. Dog-owners really should have more consideration for other users of the woodland.

Anonymous, 19/Oct/2015

We are glad that you enjoyed the woodland and your walk. We are aware of the problem with dog mess on site, despite the fact there are bins provided. We will do our best to increase signage and promote responsible dog ownership.

Forestry Commission Response
4 Stars 4 Stars

We had a lovely walk but managed to get lost and had to ask the way back to the car park. The signage is confusing.

Anonymous, 31/Aug/2015

Thank you for this feedback. Although the walks are currently waymarked, we understand that this could be improved. We are in the process of ordering additional waymarkers to make the trails clearer.We hope you continue to enjoy these woods.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

I use Nightingale wood every day, walking my dog, and have done for the last 3 years. It has so much to offer in terms of wildlife, scenery, exercise and tranquility. However, over the last six months horse riders have started to exercise their horses on the pathways and grassed areas in the wood, even though there are signs clearly stating no horses are allowed. There is a bridleway but these riders seem to prefer to use the pathways reserved for walkers. Not only are they a danger to other users they are breaking the surface of the walkways and leaving huge hoof prints on the grassed areas. Is there anything that can be done to prevent such arrogant people from spoiling such a lovely place?

James Needham, 24/Apr/2015

The ranger has been informed so that maybe signage can be made clearer and the issue addressed, thank you.

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

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West England District
0300 067 4800
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