On the side of a Dartmoor valley, Ausewell Wood is a beautiful, important mix of ancient woodland and heathland.
When it came on the market, the National Trust and the Woodland Trust, as at nearby Fingle Woods, joined forces to buy, protect and enhance this precious habitat, together with the wildlife found here.
Ausewell is a valuable wildlife site, a Site of Specific Scientific Interest, a lost world where key species such as redstarts, lesser spotted woodpeckers, pied flycatcher and the elusive hazel dormouse have taken refuge from human activity. The site is also rich in history with two cairns listed as Scheduled Monuments, important stone circles, old mine workings including a copper mine near the river and on old hematite ore mine representing the site of the earliest blast furnace in the UK.
The National Trust were able to secure the purchase from generous gifts in Wills whilst the Woodland Trust were fortunate to have a supportive foundation take on ownership on their behalf for a limited period. The Woodland Trust need to raise £1 million to take over ownership so have launched a fundraising appeal to achieve this. Ausewell Wood won’t be open to the public until the whole site has been secured. The charities together need a further £1.5 million to ensure the long-term survival of the endangered plants and animals found here.