About the site
What is the Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve?
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.
Take a look at our video presentation for more on the past and present of the Steeple Woodland Project.
What are the main areas within the Reserve?
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 Worvas 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.