Mount Fancy (BC reserve)

The land managed by Butterfly Conservation at Mount Fancy is currently divided into 2 parcels;  Mount Fancy West (Shutes Farm end) and Mount Fancy East (Mount Fancy Farm end) as the lease that BC had with Wessex (Water Board Land) is not being renewed.


Our Mount Fancy Reserve is 27 hectare of species rich meadows, wet grassland, scrub and semi-ancient woodland plus ancient oaks all located on the lower slopes of the Blackdown Hills, facing north but open to the sun.

The 'bowl', a part of Shutes is the jewel in the reserve with its succession of primrose and cowslips, followed by the orchids and culminating in devils bit scabious.

Key Species

Butterflies: Silver-washed Fritillary, Ringlet, Marbled White 

Moths: Chimney Sweeper

Walk leaflet

For further information about the walk, please download our walk leaflet.

Species you may see

Please check the flight times for any species you particularly want to see.  (species pages)


Orange-tip, Brimstone, Peacock

May & June

Small White, Green-veined White, Common Blue , Large White, Speckled Wood

July & August

Silver-washed Fritillary, Small Whiite, Large White, Green-veined White, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Marbled White, Brown Hairstreak


Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Large White, Brimstone, Green-veined White, Painted Lady


Take the B3170 from Taunton and turn left at the crossroads junction towards Chard (and Castle Neroche). and the Staple Hill car park is signposted on your left after about 2 km at OS reference ST 246159. (What3Words:  pretty.accordion.washing)

Walk down the track for 600m until you reach a junction. 

Turn left and then enter the gate on your left to access the main part of the reserve (Mount Fancy and then through to Shutes).

If you turn right you will pass through a gate into the eastern part of the Reserve, which we currently lease from Wessex Water. 


Staple hill car park (Forestry England).

Please note that the entrance to Staple Hill car park has a height restriction barrier of 2m.

There is no car parking next to the reserves access point.

Public Transport


There aren't any facilities at the Reserve or in the carpark.

Mount Fancy Gallery

These photos have been provided by our members during their visits to Mount Fancy

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