Pendarves Wood Nature Reserve started out as part of the Pendarves Estate. It was built, in part, as an ornamental garden for the manor. Since 1976, the site has been run by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, and is home to all sorts of plants and animals.
There were houses in the area as far back as the 16th century, but it wasn’t until the grand country house was built in the 1800s that the Pendarves Estate began to take shape.
Later that same century, they added the beautiful lake that you can still visit and look for dragonflies.
The manor itself was demolished after being occupied by the US military during the Second World War, and the land was abandoned to grow wild and untamed until Cornwall Wildlife Trust took control in the mid-1970s.
These days there are 40 acres of broad-leafed woodland to stroll through, where you can see yellow brimstone butterflies and carpets of bluebells, or if you visit closer to dusk, bats and badgers too. You’ll find the entrance on the left, about 2 miles out of town on the B3303 towards Helston. There’s a little car park – but with so much sensitive wildlife around, dogs aren’t allowed.
“There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.”