Churchinford, Nr Taunton
The Otterhead Estate is a nature reserve designated by Taunton Deane Borough Council in the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The boundaries of East Devon, Mid Devon and South Somerset are within walking distance. The site is owned by Wessex Water and managed since 2008 by The Otterhead Estate Trust Company Ltd. Wildlife habitats and remnants of the Victorian Otterhead Estate, such as former gardens with ornamental plants, are being conserved after years of neglect. A chain of seven lakes and former lakes, together with the River Otter and other water channels, give the impression of a landscaped water garden. Rhododendrons include Rhododendron maximum from North America, now rare in British gardens. There are successive carpets of snowdrops, narcissi and bluebells. Besides the fascination of a reawakening landscape, the site provides opportunities for quiet pursuits such as walking and photography.