Know before you go
Parking informationThe nearest car park is called Fiddlers Elbow, located off the A46 with a height restriction of 6ft 6ins, the postcode is GL4 8ET. There is also a small amount of parking at the other entrance, SO892147, What3Words cheat.boardroom.neater.
There are footpaths within the Cooper’s Hill nature reserve, which are often used for walking and running, and the site is crossed by the Cotswold Way.
Cooper’s Hill only has pedestrian access and is accessible to people with good mobility all year around, although be careful of muddy slopes during periods of wet weather and steep scree paths.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen throughout the year.
Best time to visitThroughout the year.
About the reserve
Cooper’s Hill lies on the edge of the Cotswold Escarpment near Brockworth, to the south-east of Gloucester and was adopted by GWT in 2016. This internationally important wildlife area forms part of the larger Cotswold Commons and Beechwoods Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The nature reserve covers 55 hectares and comprises ancient beech woodland, along with open scrub and grassland. It’s renowned as an outstanding example of Atlantic beech woodland and supports a wide diversity of woodland plants and animals, including the leafless bird’s-nest orchid, which grows on tree roots and produces spikes of brownish-yellow hooded flowers between May and July.
Along with its value to wildlife, Cooper’s Hill forms part of the High Botheridge Camp Scheduled Ancient Monument, a possible Iron Age hill fort. It was once thought to hold a population of the very rare red helleborine, so a species to look out for.
Cooper’s Hill’s 1:2 gradient makes Gloucestershire’s steepest slope. This tranquil reserve on the Cotswold escarpment is the perfect spot to get away from the cares of modern life. In spring the woodland floor is often a sea of bluebells, followed by early purple orchids, yellow archangel, and wild garlic, with its pungent aroma.