The main feature of this site is Stover Lake and its marsh. This 4 hectare lake supports a wealth of water birds and an excellent assemblage of dragonflies and damselflies; 19 species have been recorded here including rarities such as the hairy dragonfly, the migrant hawker and the red-eyed damselfly. The country park also has areas of woodland (home to dormice), grassland and lowland heath. There is ongoing management work to increase the area of heath, which supports breeding nightjar. Greenfinch and other birds find shelter and protection in the trees in winter where in the summer spotted flycatcher and tawny owl breed.
The Stover Way a new cycling route opened in July 2015 and offers a traffic-free route connecting Newton Abbot to Bovey Tracey. This flat route passes alongside the beautiful Stover Country Park and will eventually extend towards Lustleigh and Moretonhampstead in Dartmoor National Park.
You can pick up signs for the Stover Trail in Newton Abbot off the roundabout on Jetty Marsh Road (near Newton Abbot Hospital). From Bovey Tracey, pick up the route at the bottom of Newton Road.
Details on the route can also be found on the cycle Devon website.
The Ted Hughes Poetry Trail has been created at Stover Country Park to celebrate his poetry and long-standing links with Devon. Visitors to the Trail can read examples of Hughes' finest poems relating to the natural world. These poems have been chosen with the help of Carol Hughes to relate to the wildlife to be seen and heard around the Country Park. The Park features sixteen specially-designed 'poetry posts', each displaying a poem by Ted Hughes on a theme relating to the natural world.
The Ted Hughes Poetry Trail was officially opened on the 4th May 2006 by Councillor Des Shadrick, Chairman of Devon County Council in the presence of Carol Hughes.
There is also a short Children's Poetry Trail which lets families share together some of Ted Hughes' most memorable poems about the world of animals, some of which are illustrated by Raymond Briggs.
The historical development of the area from the 18th century is apparent within the Country Park and at adjacent sites of the remains of the canal and railway. The 18 mile Templer Way (see separate entry) from Haytor to Shaldon and the associated Heritage Trail passes through the Park. They show the route of granite transported from Dartmoor to the coast. The remains of the canal and the subsequent railway also illustrate the transport of clay and other goods.
When: Walks in spring and early summer have the best floral displays and are good for the insects. Winter is the best for seeing most birds.
Facilities: Disabled Access, Dogs Allowed, Information Boards, Toilets, Visitor Centre, Walks,
Access: Bus route available. Cycle and walk ways available.
Hints and Tips: The park is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest primarily because of the dragonfly population.
- Groups Accepted
- Forest Location
- Outdoor Attraction
- All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors - Many paths within the Country Park are surfaced and level, including the 2km. path around Stover Lake.
- Ramp/Level Access
- Toilets for Disabled Visitors
Parking & Transport
- Car parking
- Coach Parking
- Picnic Site
- Max group size - 40
- Min group size - call for details
Map & Directions
Take the Newton Abbot turning off the A38 and you will be on the A382. The country park is on the left after approximately 5 miles.