Garbutt Wood Nature Reserve
This spellbinding woodland is at its most magical when the flowers are out in May and June, and the songs of redstarts, blackcaps and other breeding birds create an enchanting atmosphere.
From a cliff top height of 305m, the nature reserve tumbles 150m to its western boundary just above Lake Gormire. The Whitestone Cliff itself has a sheer face of around 15-21m.
Above the cliff you will find bilberry and heather moor, whereas below the boulder-strewn scree lichens, mosses and ferns abound. Here you will also find evidence of man’s activity as the sandstone from the cliff was quarried until 1840 and shaped into square sleepers for use on the railways.
The main area of woodland consists mainly of birch, oak and holly, with pockets of other tree species including aspen, ash, sweet chestnut and sycamore, and is ideal for foraging for fungi in the autumn. The more open areas of the nature reserve are covered with bracken and scrub. In the north west corner of the site where springs have made it too wet for the bracken, remnants of the plants that once existed survive. Common fleabane, ragged robin and common spotted orchid are amongst the flowers that flourish.