Welcome to the Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve, St.Ives, Cornwall

Steeple Woodland Logo

The Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve is a 40 acre public open space around Knill's Monument, overlooking St Ives, Cornwall. Visitors can explore the woods, stroll over heathland and discover areas planted with young trees. A variety of activities take place at the reserve, including volunteer work sessions, wildlife surveys, environmental research projects and community events. The Nature Reserve is wheelchair accessible from the main wooden gate.

The site was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2002 and has been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award three times since 2006.

The reserve has three different areas for you to explore.

1. Steeple Woods is a mature woodland of mainly beech and oak trees to the north of Steeple Lane. The wood contains many old coppiced and pollarded trees, whose trunks have taken on strange and interesting shapes. In the past these would have been cut at intervals to provide valuable timber for a wide range of end-uses. The woodland has been classified as a Temperate Rainforest.

2. Trelyon Downs, on the south side of the lane, has been planted with a mix of native tree species. Wildlife and flowers are now thriving among the trees and glades.

3. On the top of Cock Hill, around Knill's monument, an open area of heathland is being encouraged. Plants typical of lowland heath have emerged in a patchwork of heathers, gorse, bracken, grasses, mosses and lichens.

For details on the history and current management of the reserve, please see the other pages on the site.

Volunteers needed!

Please get in touch if you'd like to get involved.

About volunteering


Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve is owned by Cornwall County Council and managed by the Steeple Woodland Project Group.

Damage to or removal of wood of any kind from the reserve without permission is illegal and will be reported to the Police.

If you see any illegal activity please let us know.