Drew's Pond Wood Local Nature Reserve

  

The name Drew is associated with Southbroom House.  The first known owner of the old Southbroom House was John Drew a wealthy clothier from Devon. When John Drew occupied the large Estate in 1501 it consisted of a House, a dove house, a small park, orchards, and gardens. A small pond was thought to have existed on the estate at that

 time although this was not shown in later records. This is 'Drews Pond' which is on the outskirts of Devizes.  The estate passed to John Drew’s grandson who was also called John. He died in 16

14 and the estate passed to his son, Robert. 

 

Sir Charles Lloyd, the Royalist occupier of Devizes Castle burnt down the house in 1645 during the Civil War. Robert died in the fire leaving the house and estate to his widow Elizabeth. Their son John Drew died soon after inheriting the estate leaving the remaining property to his widow who, in 1664, married Sir Henry Andrews, 1st Baronet of Lathbury. The bulk of the estate stayed in the Drew family until 1680 when it was bought by Sir John Eyles.

 

It is very surprising to talk to people throughout Devizes who have never been to Drew's Pond Nature Reserve and who do not know where it is. Our family and grandchildren loves its stream, the many and varied paths, the old house site - now a pleasant area and much improved and above all the pleasant picnic areas. Throughout the year there are a succession of flowers; snowdrops, bluebells, anemones, marsh buttercups etc and a good selection of birds. Geese and ducks can be usually seen on Drew's Pond itself although sadly there is no access to the Pond itself.

 

The Drews Pond Wood Project was set up by Lorna Llewellyn and Stuart Hislop in 1990. Its aim was and is to protect the Drew's Pond Woods for the future following the development of the old County hospital site, which included the Woods, for residential housing in 1996. A group of about 30 volunteers led by Stuart Hislop have conserved the site and have made it a valued local wild life habitat through regular work parties.

 

Drew's Pond Woods is a beautiful area of woodland and the volunteers have worked to improve access, carry out essential conservation work and return the wood to traditional management. A loose circuit of paths have been blended into the woodland and opened the local nature reserve to the public to enjoy and learn about the area. 

Click here for a Drew's Pond photogallery throughout  the seasons.  

 

 

 

It is located off the A360 Salisbury Road, approximately 1 mile from Devizes

 town centre and it can be accessed down Pan's Lane. See the access map below.

  

The Woods are of about 7.5 acres in extent. They have been awarded local nature reserve status and have become a County Wild Life site. Ownership was transferred

 to Kennet District Council in perpetuity for the benefit of local people in the mid 1990s. Since the Local Government reorganisation in 2009 Wiltshire Council now owns the land of the local nature reserve.

 

Visitor facilities:There are 3 major signs, plus interpretation boards for wildlife, heritage and coppicing works. There is a Picnic area.

 

The woods are used by local schools in Devizes - both primary and secondary. It is a resource for Wiltshire Schools too - the Outdoor Education programme at Braeside Centre in Devizes brings urban children from all over Wiltshire to Drew's Pond Nature Reserve to learn from the flora, fauna and outdoor beauty.

 

What to see: Habitats include woodland, meadows and a burial ground. The site was managed as coppice before being left derelict for forty to fifty years. It has been returned to coppice management since 1990. There are 29 Ancient Woodland indicator species on site, including field rose, wood sorrel, Solomon's seal etc. As well as a host of bird and mammal species, such as bats (four species), badgers, buzzards and long-eared owls. Fungi on  a log- right

 

There is volunteer groups for the Drew's Pond Wood Project. It is constituted, but not formalised. It is affiliated to the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and the Woodland Trust and has 30 + volunteers on the books

 

Contacts for further information and how to get involved: For the group - Lorna Llewelyn and Stuart Hislop. Telephone. 01380 728205


 How to find Drew's Pond

 

It is very surprising to talk to people throughout Devizes who have never been to Drew's Pond Nature Reserve and who do not know where it is. Our family and grandchildren loves its stream, the many and varied paths, the old house site - now a pleasant area and much improved and above all the pleasant picnic areas. Throughout the year there are a succession of flowers; snowdrops, bluebells, anemones, marsh buttercups etc and a good selection of birds. Geese and ducks can be usually seen on Drew's Pond itself although sadly there is no access to the Pond itself.

 

On the map below Pan's Lane and Green Lane in southern Devizes are shown along with the the old Roundway Mental Hospital site - now converted into pleasnat apartments and houses.The park is a local one and it is best to walk or cycle to the entrances, but please do not cycle or drop litter in the nature reserve.

 

A good walk and a circuit from Devizes is to;go down Green Lane, past the sports fields, turn right into the woods and local nature reserve, follow the path, turn left over the bridge and wander along and near open fields, go down steps to a bridge over the stream, follow the stream and turn right on to the old drovers road from Potterne to Devizes. Go past Drew's Pond on your left, up Drew's Pond lane, near the top of the hill go right up the steps ( passing bluebells in season) to the picnic site and out on to Byron Lane and on to Pan's lane.

 

The approximate area of the 7.5 acre nature reserve is outlined in blue on the map. Enjoy it all but please look after it.  

 

 

 The Drew's Pond Wood project won an award for Outstanding Achievement in the Neighbourhood Award section In Yeovil Somerset on 17 September 2009 . This was part of the Towns in Bloom awards for the south-west region where the Town gained a silver gilt medal. "The Jewel in the Crown” was the Drews Pond Wood Local Nature Reserve Project, which received the award for Outstanding Achievement in the Neighbourhood Award section.