Swift's Hill is a local landmark. After a brief but steep walk you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the Slad Valley, immortalised in Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie. The limestone grassland here supports over 130 species of wildflowers including 13 species of orchid including the rare frog orchids, bee orchids and early purple orchids.

Location

Knapp Lane, Elcombe
Stroud

OS Map Reference

SO877067
A static map of Swift's Hill

Know before you go

Size
10 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Space for no more than 10 cars in the lay-bys

Bicycle parking

Not currently, but cyclists are very welcome

Grazing animals

Yes

Walking trails

This nature reserve is on the Laurie Lee Wildlife Trail, a six-mile circular walk around Laurie Lee's beloved valley.

Access

Swift's Hill is steep, with access on grassland or on rough tracks.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Seven days a week, all year

Best time to visit

April to August

About the reserve

Knapweed and wild thyme support species including marbled white butterflies and common blue butterflies –in all 29 species of butterfly have been noted here.

Also look and listen out for kestrels, skylarks, green woodpeckers, field voles, limestone snails, rugged oil beetles and rare rufous grasshoppers. Ancient woodland wildflowers such as violets, bluebells and sanicle line the shady track, while stunning viper’s bugloss is found near the quarry.  There are great views from the top: on a clear day you can see as far as Wales. 

Contact us

Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01452 383333

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)