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Our work at Fyne Court

Green moss on an old sessile oak branch with green ferns behind
Moss and Bryophyte growth in Atlantic sessile oak woodlands | © National Trust Images/John Malley

The Somerset landscape around Fyne Court is home to an array of birds, butterflies and insects. Find out about the work the National Trust does to care for the hills, woods and meadows so that they’re effective habitats to help nature thrive.

Ancient Atlantic oaks at Willoughby Cleeve

The Atlantic oak woodland at Willoughby Cleeve on the Quantock Hills is an ancient habitat of increasing rarity. It stretches up Hodder’s Combe from the Village of Holford and is a unique woodland covering the steep slopes of the valley. The ancient trees host a range of ferns, mosses and lichens.

The dense crowns of the oaks show signs of ancient woodland management that were cut as pollards centuries ago. The woodland is still managed today to preserve its fragile state: techniques include holly clearance, opening up the area around ancient and veteran trees as well as monitoring the birdlife.

A rusty red and black bird known as a redstart resting on a branch
A redstart bird perched on a tree branch | © National Trust Images / Douglas Holden

Providing homes for redstarts

The redstart is one of the key species here and there are bird boxes in place so they can be monitored. Did you know, the name redstart comes from the Anglo-Saxon for ‘red-tail’, appropriately describing the rusty tail of the male bird, which restlessly flickers when it perches?

Large blue butterflies on the Polden Hills

Collard Hill on the Poldens is famous for its population of large blue butterflies. If you visit during June and July you can meet with the specialist volunteer ranger dedicated to monitoring the population and learn all about their life cycle as well as hopefully catch a glimpse of a large blue.

A large blue butterfly, with wings opened, resting on grass
Large blue butterfly at Polden Hills in Somerset | © National Trust Images/Phil Bruss

All of the Polden Hill surveys provide accurate ecological information, which feeds into the National Trust management plan. This invaluable data directly informs our habitat management work such as hazel coppicing at Walton Hill woods and scrub control on Collard Hill.

Thank you

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

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly on flowers in the garden at Attingham Park, Shropshire.


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

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A large tree with yellowing autumn leaves, next to a pyramid-shaped den made of branches leaned against each other

Things to do at Fyne Court 

Fyne Court is a haven for wildlife in spring, with clues to its past life as an Arcadian garden. You can also explore the Quantock Hills, with enjoyable walks and captivating views.

The castellated folly among the plants at Fyne Court in the summer

History of Fyne Court 

Fyne Court was once the grounds of a beautiful Georgian mansion with an Arcadian landscape. Today, the gardens and house have largely been lost.

Visitors sat outside enjoying refreshments from the Courtyard Café at Fyne Court

Eating and shopping at Fyne Court 

Why not pop by the Courtyard Café and treat yourself to a drink or a tasty treat? Or delve into your next adventure by picking up something from the second-hand bookshop?

A group of stone buildings with green trees behind and green grass in front on a summer's day

Venue hire and events at Fyne Court 

Fyne Court in the rolling Quantock Hills has two venues you can hire for parties and corporate events. Choose from the Library or Music Hall, both with Victorian grandeur.

A close crop of a boy's hands in which he is holding a medium-sized newt and a jar

School visits to Fyne Court 

Fyne Court is an ideal location for school visits. Children can gain hands-on experience of outdoor activities like bug hunting, bird spotting and den building.

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.