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Bodmin Beacon Local Nature Reserve

Most people have seen the monument standing proud above Bodmin, but how many realise what lies at its feet. Bodmin Beacon is an award winning open space is well known amongst the local community but remains a secret to the passing tourist.

Site description

Bodmin Beacon Local Nature Reserve uniquely combines:

  • rural charm
  • escapism
  • convenience
  • cultural history

The site is managed in partnership and covers 87 acres of traditionally managed farmland, public amenity space and community woodland.

The Beacon is a rounded hill lying in a prominent position next to to the town of Bodmin. At its highest point it reaches 162m with a distinctive landmark at its peak, the 44m monument to Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert built in 1857.


  • young woodland
  • semi-natural acid grassland managed as traditional meadows
  • two arable crops for birds and insects
  • relict headland

All managed under a Higher Level Stewardship Scheme awarded by Natural England

Owner: Bodmin Town Council and Cornwall Council

Managed by: Bodmin Town Council and Cormac Solutions Ltd.


  • Small car park with approximately 20 spaces
  • RADAR locked gate providing all ability access onto the main field
  • Picnic area with two picnic benches,one of which is accessible to wheelchair users .
  • There are no toilet facilities on site

Planning your visit

All the information you need to plan a visit to Bodmin Beacon,

For satelline navigation systems a nearby postcode is PL17 8AX . Please note this postcode does not take you to the beacon entrance.

Visiting by Public Transport: Nearest railway station: Bodmin Parkway Station 3.7 miles.

Useful documents

Other Cornwall Council sites nearby

Further information

The work of Cormac and Cornwall Council is reinforced by a huge effort from the Beacon Volunteers in a range of tasks. Including community representatives on the advisory group, butterfly surveying, hedge laying, bird recording. As well as running events and conservation tasks.

Cornwall Council are currently looking for new members for the Beacon management advisory group.

The Bodmin Beacon Management Advisory Group works to preserve and enhance the reserve for people and wildlife. Creating an important historical, educational and social feature in the heart of Bodmin. The Advisory Group has representatives from Cornwall Council, Cormac Solutions Ltd, Bodmin Town Council and local community volunteers. All with a common interest to safeguard the natural and historic heritage of Bodmin Beacon Local Nature Reserve. The groups remit embraces topics as diverse as education, access, conservation and land management. Meetings of the Advisory Group are generally held three times a year either on site or in Bodmin. So we would love to hear from you. Perhaps you are a Beacon regular? Do you enjoy exploring the woodland, lanes and meadows? If so, perhaps you would like to play a part in guiding management of the Nature Reserve? Please contact for further details.

Being a Beacon volunteer can be rewarding and enjoyable. Learning new skills, meeting different people. As well as getting loads of fresh air and exercise are some of the benefits. So, why not get involved? With your help the Beacon can grow from strength to strength and we can make a difference now and for future generations.

Future volunteer projects include:

  • Butterfly monitoring: April - September
  • People Counts: seasonal

A Beacon Volunteer Wrote:

When asked to write a few words on my volunteering my first thought was "How did I get myself into this?" It started when I retired. Living close by I have enjoyed the Beacon for years including many of the organised events. When I heard volunteers were wanted it seemed a perfect way, not only to put something back, but to enhance the pleasure by learning what goes into the management of an area such as this. Since then, by working on various projects, I have been privy to the intricacies of coppicing, Cornish hedge building and hedge laying. Very different for somebody that spent their working life in a factory. I have also learnt about the wildlife. The butterflies, the birds and the insects found on the Beacon and have even watched bats. Add to this the mushrooms, toadstools and wild flowers and I think the question should not be "How did I get myself into this?" but "Why didn't I do it sooner?

Whether it is ambling along our leafy lanes, rambling through the woodland, or exploring the Beacon Field. The Beacon is a great place for you and your dog to visit and enjoy. People exercising their dogs on the Beacon are key guardians of the reserve. You have the privilege of being our first visitors in the morning and over the years have become our eyes and ears.

This page aims to provide all the information needed for you and your dog to make the most of our wonderful site.

Tips for a worry free walkies on the Beacon

Help keep your Beacon special

The Beacon is a Local Nature Reserve and its associated wildlife is an important aspect of your enjoyment of the site.

Make sure your dog doesn't chase any wildlife. This can cause injury and distress to both wildlife and your dog, especially if your dog gets lost or runs across the road. Even well behaved, friendly dogs can scare birds and other animals away from their young, the eggs or chicks can then become cold and may die.

Support the people that manage the reserve

You and your dog can help rangers keep the Beacon an enjoyable, safe place to visit if you:

  • Clear up mess and dispose of it responsibly - it can cause infections in people and other animals and affect the soils that plants need to survive.
  • Keep your dog on a short lead near farm animals
  • Discourage your dog from digging after moles - deep holes can become trip hazards for other dogs and owners.
  • Discourage your dog from running over hedgerows - this wears them down and can eventually lead to collapse of an area of hedge.

Where you can go

Stick to the paths that cross the site and use the Beacon field and picnic meadow as an area to run your dog off the lead. The community woodland is also open access but beware dogs off the lead can easily get into local residents gardens and on to roads.

Need help?

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