Updated: Nov 14, 2020
The name of this Wiltshire Wildlife reserve is puzzling, as there is no mill here although there may well have been one in the distant past. But it is worth visiting in the summer months as it is a perfect example of an alder carr. Carrs are waterlogged woodlands - a mix between a swamp and a wooded fen, and in this instance, the water is fed from springs and the River Avon which flows through it.
While it can be wet underfoot, the woodland can be easily traversed by walking over the boardwalks that have been installed. It is perfectly possible to traverse the whole wooded fen and the surrounding fields which were grazed by cattle when I visited. The top edge of the reserve is bounded by the Kennet and Avon canal, while the bottom edge is adjacent to the railway.
I entered at the bottom edge, by the railway bridge and found myself in a meadow that was full of wild flowers. On the other side of the meadow there is a slope down to the woodland where you encounter the ingenious boardwalks that allow this place to be enjoyed all year round. North of the wood are fields for grazing which allow you to extend your walk across the whole of the site. I recommend taking a reserve map so you can explore the whole site.
The flowers and plants growing in the place make it really interesting. The meadows are full of yellows and pink wild flowers, and in the wooded area you see lots of great horsetail bristling up from the floor. It is truly a unique place, with great diversity of plants. If you read my blogs you know I like to capture the essence of sites from the air, but this is one place which is better appreciated from the ground, up close.
To enter from the south side, go down Dursden Lane from the centre of Pewsey. There is a small car parking area just over the railway bridge. Alternatively you can park at Pewsey Wharf next to the Waterfront Pub and walk down the canal (parking can be difficult here)
More information and a reserve leaflet with a map can be found here: Jones's Mill
I really hope this video clip gives you a feel for the place, and inspires you to visit yourself.