Natural England - Dunkery and Horner Wood NNR

Dunkery and Horner Wood NNR

The reserve comprises two sites: Horner Wood and an upland area of heathland on Dunkery Hill.

Dunkery and Horner Wood NNR

County: Somerset

Main habitats: Woodland, Upland

Area: 1604 Ha

Site map: Nature on the Mapexternal link.

Although most NNRs are managed by Natural England, 88 are wholly or partly managed by other bodies approved by Council, under Section 35 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 

Dunkery & Horner Wood NNR is owned and managed by the National Trust. The majority of the reserve is within the grounds of the Holnicote Estateexternal link.

Horner Wood is an ancient oakwood that is an important site for mosses, liverworts, lichens and ferns. Local birdlife includes the pied flycatcher, wood warbler, lesser-spotted woodpecker, redstart and dipper. The woods are also home to 14 of the UK's 16 known bat species, including breeding roosts of barbastelle and Bechstein bats.

The NNR's upland area exhibits a complete range of heathland habitats showing a transition from 'true' upland down to lowland heath. Plant life includes fir and stagshorn clubmoss, Cornish moneywort and cranberry. The site is also important for its population of heath fritillary butterflies. Moorland birds seen here include stonechat and whinchat, curlew, ring ouzel and merlin.

Location and access

Dunkery and Horner Wood is situated near the northern boundary of the Exmoor National Park, 7 km south west of Minehead and 4 km to the south east of Porlock. The nearest villages are Horner and Luccombe, both accessed via minor roads from the A39.

There is a large car park in Horner village with additional parking at West Luccombe and Webber's Post (a local landmark).

The West Somerset Railway Companyexternal link provides a seasonal rail service from Minehead to Taunton. The FirstGroupexternal link operates a bus service between Porlock and Minehead that passes close to the reserve on the A39.


There are information panels at the Horner and Webber's Post car parks.

The nearest toilet and refreshment facilities are in Horner village. The village is also the starting point for two National Trust circular trails through the wood, one 3 km long, the other 8 km. Another 5 km circular woodland trail starts at Webber's Post and there is a 5 km circular upland walk that includes many sites of archeological interest on Dunkery Hill. The upland walk starts at Cloutsham Gate, accessed via a track from Webber's Post.

A family circular cycle route passes Horner Wood. This starts at the Porlock.

For disabled visitors there is a circular easy-access trail at Webber's Post that is suitable for wheelchair users.