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Explore Nightingale Wood
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 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?

We enjoyed walking round the woods. We noticed that there are a lot of fallen branches lying around. Is it permitted to collect some of these to use as firewood in our log-burning stove?

Richard Jackson, 18/Apr/2016

I am afraid that we do not issue permits for firewood at Nightingale woodland. Fallen wood makes up an important part of the forest ecosystem and is important for the nutrient cycle as well as providing valuable deadwood habitat.Firewood also makes up an important income source for us to manage this woodland.

Forestry Commission Response
5 Stars 5 Stars

We really enjoy a gentle ride around the tracks on bikes. Often walk through the woods also. Superb facility. Loves the trees, wildlife, birds etc. I would agree with comments about responsible dog ownership.

Darren, 1/Jan/2016

Great to hear that you get so much enjoyment from this woodland. We hope you continue to do so and thank you for your comments.

Forestry Commission Response

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