Exploring the Quantock Hills

We hope you will be inspired to go out and experience the Hills with your pupils.

If you are planning a field trip anywhere in the Quantock Hills, please contact the AONB office for advice and updates about the place you are intending to visit. For example they will know of any other events that might be taking place already. They will also warn you if there any particularly sensitive areas you should avoid.

During the QEd project teams of teachers, AONB staff, other specialists and children developed and tried out many curriculum linked field activities at a variety of Quantock locations. The brief notes below gives you an idea of the sites we considered, our initial evaluation of their potential for site visits, and any site-specific learning resources we have developed. They are not intended to replace the teacher’s own assessment of safety and suitability for use with a class of children.

SITE 1:
Dows-
borough Hill

Access & Facilities
Parking at Dead womans Ditch, No toilets.
Occasional traffic on lane, then steep walk (about 20 mins).

Description
Hill walk through coppiced oak woodland, leading to dramatically defended iron age hillfort, bronze age barrow. Hilltop view to coast,
Potebntial topic links evidence of past landscape management, archaeology, tradition: Gert Verm story. . Energy, sustainability, Severn barrier, wind farms.

Resources
Investigating Dowsborough Hill’ QEd Learning Resource Pack available ()
Dowsborough children’s trail leaflet. (AONB Office)

SITE 2:
Dead Woman’s Ditch

Access & Facilities
Access easy . Car park at site. Interpretation board.
No facilities.
Toilets & BBQ at Ramscombe (20 minute walk)

Description
Ancient linear earthwork, related to Dowsborough hillfort. Extends further into woods at either end. Map work. Routes across Quantocks. Walk to Ramscombe. Drama, story of John Walford, and Walford’s Gibbet. Archaeology. Recent excavation.

Resources
Quantock Dragon Quest’. QEd Learning Resource Pack (available AONB Office)
Site often used by Kilve court tutors who have developed a range of activities

SITE 3:
Kilve Village and Kilve Beach.

Access & Facilities
Car park (mini buses, cars) near beach. Very busy at some times of year.
Toilets, Interpretation boards.
Safe walking on beach and cliff.
Small car park in village. 20 minute walk from village to beach. Narrow lane back to chantry, church, village etc. less safe – some traffic.
Church opening variable.

Description
Built environment: Medieval manor, ‘Chantry’, church, old village, lime burning, oil retort, military target range, expansion of Putsham (road, tourism).
Sea as a trade route, old harbour.
Habitats: Carr woodland, shoreline, rockpools, ‘seaside safari’.
Geology: SSSI; ‘Jurassic’ strata; fossil beds.
Agriculture: from cliff top walk can see wide range of activity - field margins, meadow, grasslands, pockets of woodland

Resources
Discovering KilveShore QEd Learning Resource Pack [available AONB Office]
Teaching material on c19th Kilve (history and geography) on Somerset Schools Intranet.
The site is already used by school groups , Somerset Wildlife Trust, and Kilve Court.
Circular walk leaflet [Quantock Hills AONB Service]

SITE 4:
East Quantox-
head
village

Access & Facilities
Limited parking in village (car/minibus), Numbers should be kept small.
Inundated with visitors in the summer.
Safe, compact. Little traffic.
No toilets.
Shortish beach walk from Kilve.

Description
old estate village, ford, mill, old bridge, agricultural buildings, sheepfold, church. Limekiln on beach, woodland with way-marked trail.
Village Study, change.

Resources
‘Investigating East Quantoxhead QEd Learning Resource Pack [available AONB Office]
Circular walk leaflet [Quantock Hills AONB Service]

SITE 5:
Nether Stowey

Access & Facilities
Parking (car/minibus), toilets, shops. Coach drop off A39. Care needed on some streets. Coleridge Cottage (National Trust) variable opening arrangements
Norman motte and bailey castle (interpretation panel).

Description
Town study conservation area, church, castle, Coleridge & Wordsworth, Tom Poole, surrounding historic landscape.

Resources
Circular walk leaflet [Quantock Hills AONB Service]
Coleridge Trail,
Nether Stowey Town Trail
http://www.quantockonline.co.uk/quantocks/villages/netherstowey This site lists many useful links providing relevant supporting resources and background information.

SITE 6:
Ramscombe

Access & Facilities
Car park. Coach access
Interpretation board. Safe picnic area and toilets.
Walks to DWD and Crowcombe Park gate. Plenty of space.
Easy access walk.

Description
Site managed by Forest Enterprise. Positive tree management. Deer. Conifers, deciduous trees and heathland restoration. Stream studies

Resources
Exploring RamscombeForestQEd Learning Resource Pack [available AONB Office]
Circular walk leaflet [Quantock Hills AONB Service]
Forest Enterprise website: www.forestry.gov.uk

SITE 7: Cothelstone Hill

Access & Facilities
Car park (car/minibus), walk up hill. All ability access to part of hill.
Excellent, safe, circular walk. Beware ponies and longhorn cattle.
No facilities.

Description
Bronze age barrows. WW2 emplacements, habitats, woodland, heath, views, energy sources. Conservation Management. Exmoor Ponies

Resources
QEd children’s’ leaflet. [available AONB Office]
Circular walk leaflet [Quantock Hills AONB Service]

SITE 8:
Hawkridge Reservoir and limekiln

Access & Facilities
Car park on road (car/minibus). Picnic site. No toilets.
Adjacent to reservoir, but no safe access to waterside. Good tarmac footpath along side of road.
Interpretation Panels.

Description
Wessex Water Reservoir (for Bridgwater), Restored limekiln, woodland walk
water, recreation, local industry, habitats, settling pond, toads.

Resources
QEd Quantoxyclopedia page ‘The story of a Quantock Stream’ link N22
Wessex water website, with education section. www.wessexwater.plc.uk

SITE 8: Pepperhill Farm

Access & Facilities
Limited parking (car/minibus).
Limited facilities (by prior arrangement. Enquire via AONB Office)

Description
Countryside stewardship. Largely pastoral farming with mixed stock.
Farm education.
Extensively used by education groups.

Resources
QEd Quantoxyclopedia page. ‘Pepperhill Farm’ linkP06
Farming and Countryside Education. www.face-online.org.uk

SITE 9:
Staple Plain

Access & Facilities
Car park (car/minibuses). Easy access trail.
Picnic site. No other facilities
15 minute walk to Beacon Hill. Footpath through West Quantoxhead quarry.

Description
Forestry, common management, habitat management, barrows, stream, reclaimed quarry, pond, wildlife. Rhododendron invasion.

Resources

SITE 10: Bishops Lydeard

Access & Facilities
Car park in village (car/minibus). Majority of streets have pavements. Toilets & shops

Description & possible subject links
Village study. West Somerset Railway. Old photos. 2nd World War, evacuees etc.

Resources
Look at www.bishopslydeard.org.uk

SITE 11: Triscombe

Access & Facilities
Car park (car/minibus) 150yds above pub and at top of hill.
Walk along Drove Road to Crowcombe Park Gate, 2km. No traffic. Safe.
No facilities or shelter.

Description & possible subject links
Safe, wild, excellent walk for group of children. Local distinctiveness. Drove road, Triscombe Stone, Wills Neck, use of Common Land, barrows. Quarry

Resources