Steeple Woodland Project

The Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve is a 40 acre public open space around Knill’s Monument, overlooking St Ives, Cornwall.

Visitors can explore the woods, stroll over heathland and discover areas planted with young trees.

A variety of activities take place at the reserve, including volunteer work sessions, wildlife surveys, environmental research projects and community events.

The Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve is wheelchair accessible from the main wooden gate.

Steeple Woodland was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2002 and has been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award three times since 2006.

The reserve has three different areas for you to explore.

1. Steeple Woods is a mature woodland of mainly beech and oak trees to the north of Steeple Lane. The wood contains many old coppiced and pollarded trees, whose trunks have taken on strange and interesting shapes. In the past these would have been cut at intervals to provide valuable timber for a wide range of end-uses.

2. Trelyon Downs, on the south side of the lane, has been planted with a mix of native tree species. Wildlife and flowers are now thriving among the trees and glades.

3. On the top of Cock Hill, around Knill’s monument, an open area of heathland is being encouraged. Plants typical of lowland heath have emerged in a patchwork of heathers, gorse, bracken, grasses, mosses and lichens.

For further information on the history and current management of the Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve, please see the other pages on their site.

Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve is supported and maintained by a volunteer group and new volunteers are always welcome, either at the weekly work parties or on the group’s committee.


Interested to get involved?

Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve relies on volunteers to make it the special place it is today. 

They have a variety of ways for you to get involved


Work parties

Work parties are held every Wednesday from 9.30 to 11.30 a.m.

Typical activities are habitat management, tree planting and footpath maintenance.

For more information, visit their volunteering page.


Supporting activities

Several members of the group are involved in more specialist activities such as butterfly surveys, site monitoring, operational planning, producing educational resources for school visits and applications for funding. Please contact Steeple Woodland Nature Reserve directly.  


We are always in need of donations to contribute towards the cost of managing the reserve – please see their Tree Planting and Sponsorship page for details of several ways in which you could help.