Information & advice
Frequently asked questions
How do I get to the Neroche Area?
To find out how to get to Neroche area please go to the Visiting Neroche webpage
Can I ride my horse in the Neroche area?
Yes. You can ride your horse in the forest. However if you are planning a large horse ride with several horses please contact the office so that we are aware of the event.
Can dogs be walked in the Neroche area?
Yes. Dogs are allowed in the forest. We encourage owners to keep their dogs under close control particularly around the cattle.
Is cycling permitted in Neroche area?
Yes. Cyclists are allowed in the forest. However the trail is only suitable for experienced off-road cyclists due to the difficult and challenging terrain. A graded cycle map is available from Staple Fitzpaine Herepath webpage or by calling 01823 680846.
Are the trails accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs?
Yes. The Neroche Scheme has developed an All Access Trail at Staple Hill, which is suitable for both wheelchairs and pushchairs. Please visit the Staple Hill Loop Trail and the Guidance on Accessibility webpage for further details.
Can I organise an event / activity to take place within Neroche Forest?
Yes. Events are allowed to take place in the forest. If you are planning an event please contact the office for permissions.
Where can I get leaflets and maps of the area?
Please contact us to obtain leaflets and maps about the area or go to any local pub, shop or tourist information centre to pick up our leaflets. Some copies of our leaflets can also be downloaded from pages on our website.
How can I find out about Events taking place in Neroche area?
There are many events which take place in the Neroche Forest. Please visit our events page for further details about upcoming events. If you would like a copy of the Blackdown Hills Countryside Events leaflet please register your address details with us.
How can I sign up to your mailing list to receive your monthly e-bulletins and the Events Leaflet?
If you would like to be put on our mailing list please register your contact details with us.
Who should I contact for assistance or report any ‘faults’ within the Forest?
If you have or see any problems within the forest please contact the Neroche Office on 01823 680846 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why are there cows in the Forest?
English Longhorn cattle have been in residence in the Neroche forest since winter 2007. The cattle have a job to do – to help create the habitats needed by the rare butterflies and other wildlife of the area, which currently only have small grass clearings to live in. The cows do not prevent public access to the forest. Signs within the forest indicate clearly which areas the cattle are occupying. To find out more please visit our Looking after the Forest webpage.
Why are you cutting down areas of the forest?
Periodic harvesting of conifers across the Neroche forest is designed to create a network of open space and partially wooded glades. These areas will only pay dividends for wildlife if they are actively managed - without this management they will quickly revert to scrub and secondary woodland. To find out more please visit our Looking after the Forest webpage.
Where can I find out more about the Neroche Scheme?
To find out more about the Neroche Scheme please visit the About Neroche webpage.
How big is the Neroche area?
The Neroche Scheme covers 35 square miles of the northern part of the Blackdown Hills AONB, spanning the border of Somerset and Devon, close to Taunton. The area is characterised by a low range of hills up to 275 metres, with a pastoral landscape of small livestock farms, and a large public forest estate. Download a map of the area
How is the Neroche Scheme funded?
Neroche is a Landscape Partnership Scheme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and a range of local partners. The Scheme has been granted a total of £2 million by the Lottery over 3 years, subject to the delivery of a set of agreed outputs. Match funding for this grant comes from Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Taunton Deane Borough Council, Natural England, Mid Devon District Council, South Somerset District Council and The National Trust. To find out more about Neroche funding and their partners please visit the About Neroche webpage.
Who is responsible for the Neroche Forest?
The Forestry Commission owns the majority of the Neroche Forest. Some parts are privately owned. If you any questions about the forest please contact the Neroche Office.
Is the Forestry Commission's work in the forest being funded by the Lottery?
The Forestry Commission is NOT being funded by the Lottery or other Neroche partners for its normal forestry work. The management and harvesting of trees is part of the Commission's statutory function, and is not eligible for external grant. However the cost of this work has been used as an in-kind contribution to help release the additional Lottery funds. Any work which goes beyond the Commission's statutory function - eg. livestock fencing, cattle purchase, etc - is benefiting from Lottery support.
What will happen to the Neroche Scheme after the Lottery funding runs out?
The Scheme currently has funding to 2011. After that, it is hoped that some elements of the Scheme will be able to continue, perhaps with the addition of some new activities, subject to securing new external funding.