and the adjoining Pithill Woods lie in the Erme Valley to the north of Ivybridge. It is a working woodland, nature reserve and recreational area of 53 acres (21.7 hectares) consisting mainly of broadleaf trees and a variety of shrubs and other moorland plants.
This woodland area starts from the bridge at the entrance of the former Stowford Paper Mill. The bridge was built by the mill owner John Allen in 1859 to facilitate the receipt of raw materials and the dispatching of finished paper to the railway sidings, which at the time were located just a short distance away along Station Road. Importantly, the new bridge meant that the paper mill’s horse drawn carts now avoided the narrow Ivy Bridge located further downstream. Walking through Longtimber woods ramblers are greeted by the imposing stone and brick built railway viaduct which was completed in 1894 in conjunction with the double tracking of the line, replacing the original viaduct built by Brunel. Piers from the old structure remain in situ. The woodland continues to Pithill Farm and Dartmoor beyond.
In 1980, Longtimber Woods was owned by a family trust which specialised in the conservation of trees and wildlife. However, given the concerns of the local community regarding the excessive felling of native hardwoods, Ivybridge Town Council with assistance from Dartmoor National Park and the Countryside Commission, purchased the woodland area to be held in perpetuity for the inhabitants of Ivybridge. Over the years this recreational area, offering leisurely walks for both locals and visitors has been improved through the addition of signage and seating.