Avon Valley Woodlands nature reserve
The Avon Valley Woodlands nature reserve is an area of woodland and paths on the River Avon near Hanham. The reserve includes Conham River Park, Hencliff Wood and Bickley wood.
You can walk or cycle along the towpath from the car park to the ferry crossing at Beese’s riverside bar.
The towpath is part of the River Avon trail which is a long distance footpath between the River Severn and Bath.
How to get there
Car parks are signposted along Memorial Road. For walks around, Bickley Wood and Hencliff Wood you can use the car park on Castle Farm Road. For Conham there is a car park in Conham River Park.
There are also bus services available along Memorial Road. You can use Travelwest’s journey planner for more information.
Conham River Park, Bristol, BS15 3AW
Avon Valley Woodlands nature reserve is partially accessible for wheelchair users and pushchairs.
There is a 750 metre stone surface path with oak seats to allow easier access from Conham River Park to the River Avon.
There are public toilets, picnic benches and cycle racks in Conham River Park car park.
The nature reserve is cared for by the Friends of Avon Valley Woodlands. It is made up of a group of residents who help us manage the reserve.
They organise a range of events and practical workdays to help raise awareness of the nature reserve and to enhance its biodiversity.
You can find out more on the Friends of Avon Valley Woodlands website.
The woodlands and River Avon provide a wide range of habitats for wildlife. You can explore the woodlands, wild flower meadows and riverside paths. Along the river, there are herons, kingfishers and otters. In the woodland there are woodpeckers, great tits and are sometimes buzzards overhead.
We have created a bat audio trail to use at Avon Valley Woodlands nature reserve to help you discover bats or other wildlife.
In the past much of the area was quarried with 12 small quarries operating between Conham River Park and Hanham Mills.
Hanham Colliery mined coal from the Bristol coalfields and pennant sandstone was brought down to the riverside and transported by horse-drawn barges to Bristol and Bath.
There are several derelict buildings within the site. These include a powder house at the bottom of Hencliff Wood which housed the dynamite for the quarries and nearby railway.
The thick walls of the old smelter works near Conham River Park are still standing, along with the boundary wall of Conham Hall.
The hall itself was demolished in 1971 and made way for a sewage works and later a refuse tip. The site has now been landscaped and its bushes and trees provide a good habitat for small birds and mammals.
You can find more detailed information by viewing our Avon Valley Woodlands leaflet.