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Ham Woods (LNR)

Ham WoodsHam Woods is a Local Nature Reserve coverings 35.9 hectares (that's about 36 full-sized football pitches) and is located just south of the A38, adjacent to the Burrington Industrial Estate and north of the areas of Ham and Pennycross. We own and manage the site and habitats include woodland, rough grassland, hedgerows and marsh. Sited in a steep valley, it is a lovely place to walk, play and relax. More than 200 species of plants and almost 80 species of birds have been recorded within the woods, a great place to enjoy and learn about nature.

The most recent improvements to the site carried out by the Stepping Stones to Nature project have included putting in good quality paths and installing new signage designed by Mayflower Primary School children.

Why not enjoy a circular walk through the reserve? Follow the Blue or Red routes for a 30 minute circular walk. Take in historic Ham Lane, enjoying the sounds of the ancient woodland and join the path alongside the babbling brook. There are some steps, slopes and uneven ground on the route.

Ham Woods map


The site provides valuable landscape and biodiversity resource for the area and contains a number of habitats including woodland, meadows, a stream and hedgerows.

Species we've spotted include:

  • Common Twayblade (orchid)
  • Bluebells
  • Buzzard
  • European eel

Access and management documents:

Management plan

Location map

Site features map

Habitat survey


Management units map

Walks and features

  • Network of paths and circular walking routes, follow the blue or red routes, each route takes about 30 minutes of relaxed walking
  • Path surfaces are firm with some steps and slopes
  • Ham Lane has a good flat surface and runs for 750m between entrances at Mowhay Road and Fountains Crescent
  • Join up with the Co-op Way, a 14-mile walk that runs around Plymouth, linking its green spaces, look out for way-markers to show you the route
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Orchard
  • Signs of the old 18th Century Leat that used to feed Weston Mill
  • Benches throughout the reserve
  • Join the Friends of Ham Woods, a group of local volunteers who help care for the site
  • Beautiful stone seating sculpture made by international artist Peter Randall-Page installed along Ham Lane
  • Awarded the Green Flag Award

Remember this is a Local Nature Reserve, please be considerate to wildlife and to other users:

  • Don't pick wildflowers or plants
  • Don't disturb animals
  • Take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under control
  • Keep dogs out of the stream area
  • Clean up after your dogs
  • No camping
  • No motorbikes
  • No fires


  • Steps and slopes at most entrances

Travel and directions

  • Five minutes walk from Ham Drive
  • Ham Lane itself is a Plymouth cycle route
  • Ham Woods is easily accessible by public transport with bus stops on Ham Drive (by Mayflower Primary School entrance) and Honicknowle Lane (by the John Kitto YMCA Centre)
  • No official car park (some car parking available on adjacent roads near Ham House (Tewkesbury Close) and Ham Drive and a small area near Honicknowle Lane entrance and at YMCA car park on Honicknowle Lane)