Area: 38.0 hectares.

This site is within the Bodmin Moor Area of Outstanding Beauty. 


This damp wooded gorge on the River Fowey lies on the steep slopes of the southern edge of the Bodmin Moor granite, some 4 kilometres to the north-west of Liskeard. 

The soils are free draining and the majority of the woodland is composed of irregular high forest, dominated by oak, with ash Fraxinus excelsior. Some patches of sessile oak Quercus petraea have been coppiced. There is a sparse shrub layer of hazel Corylus avellana and holly Ilex aquifolium. The field layer is generally acidophilous with greater woodrush Luzula sylvatica, bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus and hard fern Blechnum spicant, but on the better soils there is bracken Pteridium aquilinum and bramble Rubus fruticosus agg., with sanicle Sanicula europaea occurring locally. 

Draynes Wood is of particular importance as one of Cornwall’s richest sites for lower plants; 37 species of liverwort and 86 species of moss have been recorded. Of special note are the 2 nationally rare plants, the Tunbridge filmy-fern Hymenophyllum tunbridgense and the moss Fissidens polyphyllus. A total of 48 lichen species are recorded including the nationally rare Parmelia dissecta and several other ancient woodland indicator species. 

The course of the River Fowey is broken by a series of deep pools, waterfalls and rapids, known as Golitha Falls, providing habitats for dragonflies and other insects. Dipper Cinclus cinclus and treecreeper Certhia familiaris frequent the site.