The Devon Wildlife Trust bought the old clay pits at Meeth and turned them into a massive nature reserve, which it opened in 2013. It makes a lovely day out with a real feel of space – 150 ha!
Meeth Nature Reserve incorporates six threatened wildlife habitats, supports 18 species of national importance, and offers a haven for a huge range of bird life, making it an excellent winter wildlife-watching destination. There’s lots to explore.
And you can combine it with a bike ride. Families might want to take bikes and explore the car free Tarka Trail, which runs through the reserve. Adults can ride there from Wheatland Farm, almost entirely on the back roads. And if the thought of fabulous coffee and cake can tempt you into 3 miles on the A386, you can come back through Hatherleigh to make it a circular trip.
How to get there:
Perfectly doable for an active adult. It’s about 10 miles from your accommodation at Wheatland Farm and we’ll give you detailed route notes and lend you bikes and a map if you’re up for it.
Or, you could start out at car parks at either Petrockstowe (4 miles) or East Yarde (7 miles) on the Tarka trail and arrive by bike. hese off road routes are great for younger riders.
You can drive to the village of Meeth, near Hatherleigh, and park at the reserve itself. Follow the old quarry road to the new car park. From here you can explore on foot, or carry on on your bike (make sure it has fairly robust tyres!). There are trails suitable for push chairs and any reasonably intrepid wheelchair user. If you follow the path from the car park you’ll soon come upon the Tarka Trail, which bisects the reserve. On the far side you’ll find bike parking, ponds with lovely benches, and a track leading up hill which takes you to a much larger lake.