Soudley Ponds

Visitor information

Visit this stunning wildlife haven in the Forest of Dean

Surrounded by impressive Douglas fir trees, immerse yourself in the stunning landscape of Soudley Ponds. 

Soudley Ponds is a stunning haven for wildlife, and best visited in the autumn or spring. 

Designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which means it is protected. The wetland habitat is home to lots of different plants, birds and insects. 

Enjoy a gentle, waterside walk, or take a hike to the top of Blaize Bailey for views across the River Severn.  

Soudley fishing syndicate lease the lower pond for fly fishing, the other ponds are nature reserves.

At a glance

Due to an outbreak of Crayfish Plague in the watercourses in and around Soudley Ponds. Please do not allow dogs to enter the water and take note of on site signage.
19/02/2024 11:47

Things to do

Going for a sensory walk helps you get outside, be active and connect with nature.

The Sensory Walk at Soudley Ponds is a quiet 2.5km walk. Take in the beautiful views along the hard-packed gravel surface that takes you all the way around the ponds. There are short inclines if you would like to walk across the bridges. The route is suitable in all weathers but there are no facilities on site.

Before you visit, you may wish to download the Making Walks Sensory toolkit produced by Sense which contains advice on planning walks and some suggested sensory activities. It’s the perfect companion for a sensory walk!

You can access all the Sensory Walks by downloading the free OS Maps app. To find out more about the OS Maps app, discover more Sensory Walks across England, and to download the Making Walks Sensory toolkit visit the Sense website.

There are a range of surfaced pond-side paths which start from both the north and south car park. Bridges allow access between the ponds (please do not let children play in or around the spillways as they can be dangerous). 

For those wanting more of a challenge, a steep walk up the ridge will be rewarded with beautiful views over the River Severn. 

Please note: The trails in this forest are not waymarked.

Nearby forests

Family paddling in a brook

Wenchford is a beautiful spot nestled deep within the forest with plenty of picnic tables and an easy access path.

Blackpool Brook trickles through the site under the dappled shade of the large oak trees. The paddling area is the perfect place to cool down in the hot summer months.

Lakeside view at Mallards Pike

There is something for everyone at this beautiful lakeside setting.

Adrenaline seekers can challenge themselves at Go Ape Tree Top Challenge. For those with energy left to burn there is Forest Segway or a range of running trails from 2km to 10km routes.

The Roll of Honour Sculpture at New Fancy, Forest of Dean

Formerly the site of the New Fancy coal mine, come and see the spectacular views that the old spoil heap now provides. The viewpoint is an ideal place to watch birds of prey soaring above the woodland.

Trees in mist

Established in 1915 with trees brought back by the Victorian plant hunter Ernest Wilson from his 1910 explorations of China, The Cyril Hart Arboretum is home to over 200 tree species. 

Originally known as the Speech House Arboretum, it was later renamed the Cyril Hart Arboretum after Dr Cyril Hart who dedicated a lifetime of service to forestry and was a Senior Verderer (1952 – 2009) of the Forest of Dean.

Membership invitation - click to find out more about membership
Volunteer with us invitation - click to discover volunteer opportunities across England