Just a five minute walk from Stroud’s town centre, yet the hidden delights of Frome Banks Nature Reserve are still unknown by many. Owned by the County Council, it is managed by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Stroud Valleys Project. Upstream the reserve begins where the River Frome tumbles over an old weir, beside the ruins of one the buildings that made up Capel’s Mill, also known as the Stroudwater Dye Works.
The river continues through a narrow belt of mixed woodland with steep banks on each side. The northern bank has some fine, tall beech trees, the southern bank has a footpath running the length of the reserve all the way to Wallbridge below the Canal. The A419 runs just above the footpath, the sounds of its traffic muffled by the foliage of the trees.
The river is home to Kingfisher, Dipper and Grey Wagtail. Otters follow the river course in both directions. The narrow woodland is home to Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jay and Tree Creeper. Comma and Speckled Wood butterflies are often seen on the nettles that line the footpath, especially where the sun reaches the bank. In the spring Orange Tip and Brimstone fly up and down the reserve.