Skip to content

Our work at Fingle Woods

Fingle Woods, Drewsteignton, Devon
Fingle Woods, Drewsteignton | © National Trust Images/Robbie Forrester Wilson

In partnership with the Woodland Trust, the National Trust secured the future of Fingle Woods and the thousands of plants and animals that call this place home. Find out how we are planning to restore the ancient woodland to its former glory, following damage caused by the planting of non-native conifers, and how we are improving public access via new footpaths and better waymarking.

An ancient woodland

Fingle Woods is an 825-acre ancient woodland site located in the Teign Valley on the northern fringes of Dartmoor National Park in Devon. It is located downstream of Fingle Bridge on the southern side of the river.

In 2013 the site was bought by the National Trust and Woodland Trust to restore it for the benefit of wildlife and public access.

The restoration plan for Fingle

The plan now is to restore the ancient woodland which has been damaged by the planting of non-native conifers, and gradually return the wood to its former glory.

This will take over 200 years and is one of the largest woodland restoration projects in the country.

Only two per cent of woodland in the UK is ancient woodland, and this is why restoring woodland like Fingle is so important, to protect the long-term future of the species that thrive here.

Wildlife at Fingle Woods

The unspoilt fragments of the woods are home to an abundance of wildlife.

The wild daffodils in early spring give way to bluebells in early summer to create a continuous carpet of colour across the dappled woodland, reflecting the distinct character of this part of the area.

Redstarts and wood warblers can be seen along the woodland edges while pied flycatchers, typically found on the western coast, hunt for insects in the mature undergrowth, and wetland species thrive in the fertile grounds bordering the River Teign.

Fingle Bridge seen from the Fisherman's Path at Castle Drogo, Devon
Fingle Bridge seen from the Fisherman's Path at Castle Drogo, Devon | © National Trust Images/David Sellman

For everyone, for ever

In years past, many parts of Fingle Woods has had no public access, but over the past few years the National Trust and Woodland Trust have sought to reverse that, putting in many miles of footpaths and better waymarking.

If you would like to visit the site, follow the road signs from Drewsteignton marked Fingle Bridge, and parking is located over the narrow packhorse bridge.

Wooston Castle hillfort

Located at the top of the woods this Iron Age hillfort offers impressive views over Fingle Woods.

To get to the site you can park your car at Castle Drogo and wander down to Fingle Bridge, and from there follow the white signposts to the hillfort.

To keep up to date with the latest news and events in the woods please visit the blog:

Thank you

With your ongoing support, we're able to continue our vital conservation work. Thank you for helping to protect these special places.

Fingle Bridge seen from the Fisherman's Path at Castle Drogo, Devon


Everyone needs nature, now more than ever. Donate today and you could help people and nature to thrive at the places we care for.

You might also be interested in

A close up of a small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly sat on a bluebell

Wildlife in the Teign Gorge at Fingle Bridge 

Discover the abundant wildlife you can spot on a visit to the Teign Gorge, from birds and butterflies to Dartmoor ponies and fallow deer.

A woodland path scattered with autumn leaves though Holne Woods, Devon.

Things to do at Hembury and Holne Woods 

Explore the many trails and paths at Hembury and Holne Woods. From a gentle walk to something a bit more strenuous, you'll discover something to suit your mood.

Ranger in National Trust fleece inspecting white blossom on tree in orchard

Our cause 

We believe that nature, beauty and history are for everyone. That’s why we’re supporting wildlife, protecting historic sites and more. Find out about our work.

A group of hikers climb a path through woodland towards the camera

For everyone, for ever: our strategy to 2025 

Read about our strategy 'For everyone, for ever' here at the National Trust, which will take the organisation through to 2025.