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Tarr Steps Woods

Exmoor National Park Authority's woodland ownership at Tarr Steps consists of three woodland compartments, Liscombe Wood, Knaplock Wood and North Barton Wood. Together, they make an area of woodland approximately 33 hectares in size.

The site is probably best known for the ancient clapper bridge called Tarr Steps, a Scheduled Ancient Monument that spans the River Barle, but the woodlands are also of high importance for nature conservation. Much of the Barle Valley is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and Tarr Steps Woods are no exception. The woodlands are also designated as a National Nature Reserve (NNR), which means they are of national importance for conservation. The main reason for the high conservation status is due to the rare lichens, such as the lungwort lichen, that thrive in the moist, clean air of the valley.

Along with several other sites including Burridge Woods, Tarr Steps Woods form part of the Barle Valley Woods complex which are included in the Barle Valley Woods management plan produced by the National Park Authority. Management work at Tarr Steps Woods includes gap creation, halo thinning around feature trees and periodic thinning to improve the balance of light and shade.

If you would like to know more about the woodlands and the woodland management operations which ENPA have planned, you can find more information in the Barle Valley Woods Vision Statement.

Location  

Grid reference: SS 8726 3240 (entrance to Tarr Steps car park near Liscombe). The site is located between Withypool and Dulverton in Somerset beside the River Barle. Please note that sat navs can direct visitors to the other side of the river from the car park. The ford can not be crossed in anything other than a 4X4 with high ground clearance.

Facilities 

Car park (pay and display) with toilets and information boards. The car park is approximately 500 metres form the woodland which is reached via an inclined footpath. There is a smaller car park for the disabled next to the River Barle and near to the Tarr Farm Inn.  

Public Access  

1.2 kilometers of Public Bridleway and 1.2 kilometers of permitted footpath that join to make a circular walk through the woodlands.

What to look out for 

Lichens, woodland birds, otters, dormice, Tarr Steps clapper bridge.

Find out more about the management of Exmoor National Park Authority's Tarr Steps woodland in the Barle Valley Vision Statement.