HOME PAGE OF THE OTTERHEAD ESTATE TRUST COMPANY LTD.
Incorporated in 2006 company number 05678234.
Enrolled with Entrust under Landfill Regulations in 2012 number 150021.
The Otterhead Estate including the Car Park has been reopened to Visitors.
Permissive paths have become overgrown so please watch out for brambles that can be a scratch and trip hazard.
Overgrown vegetation can hide other trip hazards and ADDERS.
ADDERS, this country's only venomous snake, will only bite people or dogs in self defence or if startled.
It is a criminal offence to injure or kill an adder and indeed other wildlife at this designated local nature reserve.
THE CORONAVIRUS has not gone away so please stay alert and remember social distancing especially as many of the paths are quite narrow.
30th May 2020 The Otterhead Estate including the Car Park remains closed to visitors. The two public footpaths are still open but do not provide a circular walk within the estate as all the other paths, drives and trails remain closed.
Please be alert for the presence of ADDERS a venomous protected native snake species.
The estate is a council designated local nature reserve and not a council owned park or garden.
This website will be kept updated regarding access.
Any questions please email:
The Otterhead Estate closed to visitors from 5pm on the 23rd March in line with Wessex Water closing public access to its community sites following the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown.
Head of community engagement Kirsty Scarlett said: “This has been a very difficult decision to make as we understand the importance of outdoor space and physical activity to our communities. But in light of the increasing pressure and the need to protect our staff and visitors we feel this is the right decision.
“The health and wellbeing of our visitors and staff is our top priority during this difficult time and we thank everyone for their cooperation.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and new advice with a view to reopening as soon as it is safe to do so.”
The decision means that there will be no public access to Wessex Water’s sites, other than public rights of way. However, the company is asking those who use public rights of way to do so in line with government advice on social distancing and not to stray onto any other paths or trails as these are all closed.
Royston Lake Otterhead Estate June 2018
Rhododendron Hybrid 'Rosamundi' at Otterhead.
Otterhead Estate South Drive restoration nears completion. Much of the original surface will remain.
OTTERHEAD ESTATE AND LAKES FLICKR SLIDESHOW:
THE OTTERHEAD ESTATE TRUST, a not-for-profit limited company, manages the Otterhead Estate and Lakes Local Nature Reserve, in the Taunton Deane parishes of Churchstanton and Otterford, Somerset, close to the village of Churchinford (Churchingford), leased from Wessex Water. The neglected Victorian landscape, half formerly in Devon, includes the 'lost gardens' of Otterhead House (demolished in 1952) with terraced walks and drives as well as two former walled gardens. The most obvious features are the two remaining Otterhead Lakes and the River Otter but by taking into account the sites of former lakes and other water management features such as leats, the reserve can be considered to have the appearence of a very neglected one mile long water garden. The Trust aims to improve wildlife habitats and conserve garden plants and built heritage features as well as restoring where possible the designed landscape. The reserve forms only a part of the Wessex Water owned Otterhead Estate; it should be noted that the Estate Trust lease does not include the two remaining lakes, management of which is retained by Wessex Water.
Otterhead is within walking distance of the boundaries of East Devon, Mid Devon and South Somerset Districts, the three local authorities that together with Taunton Deane Borough include land designated as the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Otterhead can therefore be claimed with some justification to be the free to enter visitor attraction at the heart of the Blackdown Hills.
Parts of the reserve are successively carpeted with snowdrops, daffodils and other narcissi and bluebells. Primroses, foxgloves and marsh marigolds are present in large numbers as well as other native plants including various species of ferns.
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A view in November 2012 from the South Drive permissive path in Otterford over the Royston Lake to golden foliage in Churchstanton Parish.
Philadelphus coronarius (mock orange) by the Otterhead Front Drive July 2014
Rhododendron maximum hybrid 'Eileen' identified in July 2015 photographed at Otterhead in 2011.
Unknown Heritage Rhododendron beside Otterhead Front Drive May 2015.
Bluebells south of the Otterhead Walled Gardens May 2012.
The Otterhead Snowdrops have attracted Visitors over the years.
Inula helenium (Elecampane) at Otterhead July 2014.
Rhododendron maximum form at Otterhead July 2014.
Selected form of the late flowering North American Rhododendron maximum at Otterhead 25 June 2011.
Down to the Lakes: the former main drive to the lost Otterhead House November 2011.
Philadelphus (Mock Orange) and nettles in the Lost Victorian Gardens at Otterhead July 2012.
Rhododendron Hybrid 'Rosamundi' ('Rosa Mundi') at Otterhead 13 April 2012. The rhododendrons at Otterhead are beginning to flower much later than usual; this rhododendron was still flowering on 25 May 2013.
OTTERHEAD ESTATE AND LAKES FLICKR SLIDESHOW:
Late flowering Rhododendron maximum from North America June 2009 at Otterhead.
Unknown Rhododendron with large globular flower buds in flower 13 June 2012 at Otterhead.
Rhododendron Hybrid 'Russellianum' ('Cornish Red') by the Otterhead Coach House public footpath 6 May 2012.
Marsh Marigolds by the Otterhead Bypass Leat 28 April 2012.
Snowdrops at Otterhead March 2010.
Rhododendron Hybrid 'Rosamundi' ('Rosa Mundi') at Otterhead April 2011.
Rhododendron Hybrid 'Russellianum' ('Cornish Red') by the Otterhead Coach House April 2011.
Rhododendron Hybrid 'Baroness Henry Schroeder' at Otterhead May 2011.
Rhododendron Hybrid 'Lady Eleanor Cathcart' at Otterhead June 2010.
Rhododendron Islands in the House Lake at Otterhead June 2011.
The lost gardens of Otterhead House still contain remnant plantings of North American introductions, for example Rhododendron maximum, the State Flower of West Virginia, now believed to be rarely grown in the United Kingdom:
Depending on the weather, the main flowering season at Otterhead is from January (snowdrops) until July (Rhododendron maximum). It is hoped that this website will carry up to date information concerning flowering at Otterhead which may help intending visitors from beyond the Blackdown Hills - please see NEWS.
Otterhead was designated as a Local Nature Reserve by Taunton Deane Borough Council in 2008 and was registered as a BBC Breathing Place (no. 33901) in December the same year.
AN OTTERHEAD ESTATE AND LAKES FLICKR SLIDESHOW:
Copyright The Otterhead Estate Trust Company Ltd. 2011-2020
THIS WEBSITE IS PROVIDED FREE OF CHARGE BY VOICE as The Otterhead Estate Trust is a not-for-profit limited company. Please note that VOICE is in no way responsible for information on this website which is updated by the Estate Trust's Project Co-ordinator.
PLEASE CONTACT THE ESTATE TRUST BY EMAIL AS THERE ARE NO POSTAL FACILITIES AT THE RESERVE.