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Explore Nightingale Wood
(Average user rating: 5 unrated 4.1/5)


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

I have recently been walking my dog in Nightingale Wood and love the fact that there are paths so that I'm not up to my knees in mud. I also love the fact that the walks are circular, so much better than having to retrace one's steps. It's really lovely and will only get better as the trees mature. My only niggle is that there could be more dog poo bins at intervals as it's a pain having to carry it for a long way.

Anonymous, 20/Feb/2017
1 Star 1 Star

This is the worst woods I've ever had to find. Zero signage. No road names, maps or any details of the car park. Simply saying it is nightingale lane would have been enough!

Anonymous, 28/Jan/2017

Thank you for your comments. Whilst it is possible to access direction to this woodland from our website, we appreciate that this information could be improved and updated and will endeavour to do so. The woodland is signposted from South Marston village but we will provide better information on our website in future. Thank you for the feedback.

Forestry Commission Response
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
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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

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