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Description

Yeovil Country Park takes you on a journey around woodlands and waterfalls following the River Yeo to meadow pastures and far reaching views to the wider countryside.

The park has five main areas all of which have very different characteristics and land features. The landscape varies from Ninesprings which is the most heavily used and accessible section with its network of footpaths and waterways to the Riverside walk which gives the feeling of being away from the hustle and bustle of town as you stroll through woodland following the path of the River Yeo.

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Donate to make a difference

If you have enjoyed a visit to Yeovil Country Park and would like to contribute to help look after the special wildlife that call it home, please give a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will go towards projects such as improving the river habitats for water voles, tree planting and restoration of the historic Valley Gardens in Ninesprings.

Thank you, your contributions really do make a difference.

To make a donation please visit Donate – Visit South Somerset

EV Charging available – 32 amp 22kW Type 2, double socket EV Charging Stations with Scottish Power – 65p/kWh – Powered by wind generated electricity.

Features 

  • Parking on-site
  • Dogs welcome
  • Free entry
  • Partial disabled access
  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Open all year
  • Play park
  • Family friendly
  • Wi-Fi
  • Picnic area
  • Biodiversity diversity

Visitor information

Information about the area, car parking, accessibility and more


Yeovil Country Park is a Green Flag award winning haven for wildlife just a five-minute walk from the town centre.

With five distinct areas that make up the country park, each one has its own unique character and wildlife to match. From a small orchard on Penn Hill to wildflowers on the flood plain at Riverside there is something to pique everyone’s interest.

Ninesprings – It’s the most popular and accessible area of the country park with a network of footpaths leading you through semi ancient woodlands and wildflower meadows to explore the waterfalls and streams of the secretive Valley Gardens. Water is a dominating feature in this area of the country park with Dodham Brook, the Valley Gardens and the lake providing a beautiful network of waterways that are rich with diverse wildlife.

Penn Hill – a short climb to the top of this grassy knoll will reward you with breath-taking views across Yeovil and Ninesprings. At the top of the hill you will discover a community wildlife garden, a small enclosed fruit orchard and wildflower meadow with ornamental trees dotted throughout the grassland.

Summerhouse Hill – the strip lynchets visible on the slopes of Summerhouse Hill are reminders of its agricultural past. A small herd of beef cattle still graze there today creating a beautiful grassland. The small wildflower meadow at the bottom of the hill is dotted with fruit trees.

Wyndham Hill – an iconic landmark in Yeovil with four mature lime trees standing on the summit. The climb to the top is worth the effort for 360 degree views of the surrounding town and countryside. The shared path along the bottom follows the river Yeo and a wooded escarpment.

Riverside – a narrow area of wilderness sandwiched between the river Yeo and the railway line, with semi mature trees and shrubs bordering the footpaths opening into a small reedbed and floodplain meadows beyond.

Car parking

Yeovil Country Park is accessible from a number of pay and display town centre car parks.

The most popular being Goldenstones car park (BA201QZ). Disabled access car parking spaces are available outside Ninesprings Café at Goldenstones car park (charges apply).

There is small free car park (max. 2 hour stay) located at Addlewell Lane (BA20 1QN).

A small free car park (max. 2 hour stay) is located off Lyde Road (BA21 5NP) with easy access to Riverside.

Dogs

Dogs are welcome at Yeovil Country Park.

The shared use path that runs from Ninesprings to Wyndham Hill can get very busy with cyclists, children and dogs. Please treat everyone with respect.

We ask that dogs are kept under control and for dog owners to pick up after their dog to keep it a safe and clean park for everyone. There are dog bins located throughout the Country Park.

There is a strict ‘No Dog Zone’ located around the main lake and part of Dodham Brook to protect the many birds and water voles which inhabit the waterways here. There are clear ‘No Dog’ signs on the entrance gates and the area is fenced.

Refreshments

Situated next to Goldenstones car park Ninesprings Café is the perfect start and end point to your visit. Not only a superb family and dog friendly café in a wonderful setting, Ninesprings Café is also the information centre for Yeovil Country Park. It is here that you can read about the history, upcoming events and wildlife, as well as picking up maps and leaflets to find your way around.

Our friendly café team serve hot and cold drinks, snacks, sandwiches, cakes and more. Free Wi-fi access for cafe customers. Disabled access. Baby-changing facilities. Dogs on leads welcome. Seating indoors or outdoors. Takeaway food and drinks available.

Ninesprings Café opening times:

Monday to Friday – 8am to 6pm

Saturday and Sunday 8am to 5pm.

Open Bank Holidays; opening times may vary.

Only closed on Christmas Day.

Friends of Yeovil Country Park CIO

The Friends of Yeovil Country Park is a volunteer group which has been supporting and helping to maintain Yeovil Country Park since 2012 by helping the ranger team to fund and deliver conservation projects and community events. In 2019 the Friends of Yeovil Country Park became a registered charity as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). If you would like to get involved with the Friends of Yeovil Country Park please email the chairman, Gary Cashmore on chairman@friendsofyeovilcountrypark.org

Toilets 

There are two unisex public toilets adjoined to Ninesprings Café. One has disabled facilities and the other has baby changing facilities. The public toilets are locked overnight. There is an indoor toilet with baby changing and disabled facilities inside Ninesprings Café for customer use.

Activities 

Park Yoga

Throughout May to September, Yeovil Country Park hosts Park Yoga, a free yoga class every Sunday morning from 9.30am to 10.30am on the grassy area next to Ninesprings Cafe.

Please visit the Park Yoga website for more information.

Orienteering

There is a permanent orienteering course at Yeovil Country Park, suitable for individuals, families or organised groups to take part in.

Cycling 

Cycling is only permitted on the shared use path that runs on the route of the old railway line through Ninesprings to Wyndham Hill. Cycling is not permitted elsewhere in the country park.

Accessibility 

Disabled access car parking spaces are located outside Ninesprings Café where charges do apply.

There are two easy access trails in Ninesprings; a ‘Flat River Walk’ (1.5m) and a ‘Challenging Route’ (0.4m). The leaflet is available to download or you can pick one up from Ninesprings Café.

Yeovil Country Park Accessibility Park (PDF 17.7MB)

A tactile map for visual impairments is located outside Ninesprings Café.

Wildlife

Each area of the country park has its own unique habitat and therefore a diverse array of wildlife within it. The cattle grazed grassland of Wyndham Hill and Summerhouse Hill provides a variable sward structure benefiting a host of species in the summer including meadow brown, marbled white and emperor dragonflies. The wildflower meadows at Ninesprings, Penn Hill and Summerhouse Hill provide nectar-rich plants helping to support populations of native pollinators including small copper butterflies, six spot burnet moths and common carder bees.

You can walk through the reedbed at Riverside and may occasionally hear a Cetti’s or reed warbler singing. The rough grassland is home to wasp spiders, harvest mice and provides a hunting habitat for barn owl and tawny owl. The small wildlife ponds provide great habitat for banded demoiselles, broad bodied chasers and emperor dragonflies.

Kingfishers can be seen darting above the waterways at Ninesprings and following the path of the River Yeo where the soft sandy river banks provide an ideal nesting location. Around the lake and ponds at Ninesprings mallard duck, mandarin duck, coot, moorhen and little grebe are resident throughout the year and the banks of Dodham Brook support a large population of water voles.

In the woodland, birds are plentiful and you will spot or hear the woodland specialists such as nuthatch, jay, treecreeper, green woodpecker and great spotted woodpecker. Look out for dancing speckled wood butterflies along the paths.

Mammals such as red fox and badger inhabit the woodlands and field margins throughout the Country Park. If you are lucky you may spot a roe deer whilst taking a stroll through the woodland at Riverside. Otters inhabit the River Yeo and can occasionally be seen feeding in the water on a quiet morning.

Drone use

Drone use is strictly regulated across all of our sites to prevent disturbance to the wildlife and livestock and so that the privacy of our visitors is respected. If you have a good reason for wanting to fly a drone across any of our countryside sites, you will need to email the Countryside Manager to request permission, along with a copy of your public liability insurance and certification to fly a drone.

Please email rachael.whaites@somerset.gov.uk for permission to fly a drone.

BBQ or small campfires on site

Due to the high fire risk campfires are strictly prohibited at Yeovil Country Park. Barbeques are permitted only on the stone plinths at the BBQ area, opposite Ninesprings Cafe.

Memorial trees or benches at Yeovil Country Park 

The memorial arboretum at Ninesprings is full but there are options to have a memorial tree elsewhere in the country park, depending on the current tree planting plan. Most memorial trees would have to be of a native species (depending on location) and no plaques are allowed next to the tree. Please contact Countryside Ranger, Agnes Szego to discuss further.

There is limited availability for memorial benches at the country park. We have many requests every year and we are nearly at capacity for benches across the park. You may be able to have an existing bench refurbished with a plaque put on it.

Please email Agnes at agnes.szego@somerset.gov.uk if this is something you would like to pursue or if you have any enquires about a memorial tree or bench.

Parkwatch 

Please report any incidents to 101.

Incidents include:

  • Motorbikes in the country park
  • Drug taking
  • Anti-social behaviour such as large amounts of littering (for example after a BBQ)
  • Fly tipping

Fires and BBQ’s should be reported to the Fire Service on 999.

Leaflets, maps and information

Projects

Information about the projects happening at Yeovil Country Park


Dodham Brook Restoration Project

This project is a partnership between the Countryside Team at Yeovil Country Park and the Yeovil Rivers Community Trust, funded by the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The project aims are to rehabilitate and enhance the Dodham Brook within Yeovil Country Park and the concrete flood alleviation channel between the weir and Newton Road to revitalise the brook and maintain the improvements in the long-term. It is hoped that the proposed measures will transform the watercourse from its current neglected and uninviting condition into a high quality urban green space which is attractive to people and wildlife.

Dodham Brook is an urban stream which is designated by the Environment Agency as a Heavily Modified Water Body (HMWB). This is the only waterbody in Somerset where conditions for fish are classified as bad. The stream should have a high amenity value due to its location within a country park.

Our objectives as part of this project are to achieve improved standards for water quality, wildlife and the environment generally in this section of the catchment by implementing actions which will promote the restoration of natural river processes, improve connectivity for fish and other animals, provide diversified habitats and enhance the number and abundance of different animals and plants. When combined it is hoped that these actions will provide improvements for wildlife, people and the town of Yeovil.

You can find out more by visiting the Yeovil Rivers Community Trust website.

Penn Hill Wildlife Garden

The ranger team are working with the Friends of Yeovil Country Park to restore the Community Wildlife Garden on Penn Hill.

During the covid pandemic, volunteering activity ceased at the country park, which meant that many jobs around the park were not able to be completed by the two rangers as work had to be prioritised. Unfortunately, the community wildlife garden has fallen into a state of disrepair.

The rangers are working with the Friends to improve biodiversity in this area as species such as dock, nettle and creeping buttercup are dominant. The Friends of Yeovil Country Park have been granted £700 of funding from the Wessex Water Foundation to improve the biodiversity through planting wildflowers (particularly focusing on nocturnal pollinators) repairing and restoring the pond and creating habitat piles and hibernacula.

Volunteering

Volunteering opportunities


There are plenty of ways to get involved at Yeovil Country Park. Opportunities for volunteering include practical habitat management and park maintenance, species surveying, litter picking and fundraising at our community events. Our volunteers join us for all sorts of reasons such as:

  • to keep fit
  • to learn about wildlife
  • for the social element
  • to do their bit for the local community
  • to look after a place they enjoy and love
  • to have fun.

Practical conservation volunteers

At Yeovil Country Park the Countryside Rangers lead two regular practical volunteering sessions a week.

Monday 1pm to 3pm –  a Ranger led volunteer session focussed on carrying out lighter practical tasks such as litter picking, shrub and flower border upkeep and footpath maintenance.

Thursday 10am to 3pm – a Ranger led volunteer session which involves harder physical practical tasks such as fencing, woodland management, scrub management, tree planting, hedge laying and much more.

You do not need to have any experience to join in, just a willingness to get involved and a passion for nature. The volunteer tasks are physical in nature so you will need to have a fairly good level of fitness.

Group visits

How to arrange a group visit


The Community Heritage Officer can cater for private families, community groups or deliver curriculum based educational sessions at Yeovil Country Park.

For more information please contact Edd Chilcott on 07458 074843 or email Edward.Chilcott@somerset.gov.uk

External Organisations

If you are an external organisation that wishes to host your event at Yeovil Country Park please email us at countryside@somerset.gov.uk

There may be a charge to host your event, but all charitable events are free. We will need to see a copy of your risk assessment, public liability insurance and an application form must be completed to hold an event at Yeovil Country Park.

Application form to hold an event (PDF 143KB)

Contact details

Website
Email
Telephone 0300 123 2224

Location

Address Ninesprings Cafe, Brunswick Street, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1QZ, United Kingdom