Know before you go
When to visit
Opening timesOpen all times
Best time to visitJune to September
About the reserve
Due to coal-mining and afforestation in the 18th and 19th centuries Laymoor Quag is the last remaining relic of Cinderford’s wet heathland which once covered a large area. Heathland, marsh and ponds provide habitat for a variety of flora and fauna. Dragonflies are abundant here, and it's as great place to watch them hunt over the wet heathland. The only known location for the petty whin, the heathland is home to heather and gorse and the bird life which call the area home. Typical heathland flowers are present and include heath bedstraw, lousewort, tormentil and sneeze-wort. Marsh marigold, cuckooflower, meadowsweet and ragged robin are nestled amongst the grass, and at the eastern edge is a spring-fed pond surrounded by the striking yellow iris, skull caps and a variety of bog mosses.
How to get there
Laymoor Quag is situated just outside the town of Cinderford, to the west of the Forest Vale Industrial Estate. The reserve lies within the large ‘open access’ area of Forestry Commission land in the Forest of Dean so there is free access to the reserve.
From the northeast (i.e. from Gloucester or Cheltenham), Cinderford is reached via either the A40 and A4136 or via the A48; and from the southwest via the A48 from the Severn Bridge crossings.
Whilst there is casual, on-street parking close to reserve in the vicinity of Forest Vale Road, from which there is footpath access, it is recommended that people visiting the reserve by car, park in the Forestry Commission car park at Ruspidge Halt, which is free of charge. From here it is exactly one mile (1.7km) on a well-graded footpath to the reserve. The footpath makes for a very pleasant walk, on flat ground, passing ponds, woodland and open grassland areas. Head northwards from the car park with the rugby pitch on your left and continue until you reach a large vehicle sales compound on your left with a snack bar. Here the footpath crosses a dirt track. Pass the green metal Forestry Commission barrier and beneath an elevated pipe into an area of open grassland with Bilson Green sewage treatment works on your left. Continue north along the obvious footpath and you will reach the reserve on your left.
Ruspidge Halt car park is located just off the B4226 ‘Speech House Road’ on the right as you come out of Cinderford (on the left if coming from the Coleford direction). Post Code: GL14 3ER. Grid Reference SO648127.