Dawlish  in  South  Devon
 map ref SX9576                     
  Dawlish | Dawlish Warren | Teignmouth | Newton Abbot | Shaldon
  Map of Area - Local Towns| Salcombe | Buckfastleigh | Dartmouth | Exeter

Dawlish Warren
Nature Reserve Information Centre
Dawlish Warren

Tourist Information CentreTourist Information Centre
The Lawn, DAWLISH.
Tel: +44 (0)1626 215665

To the north of Dawlish, is Dawlish Warren - a sandy spit that extends for two miles into the mouth of the Exe estuary. The beach has a gentle slope down to the sea, providing a perfect spot for bathing in a safe environment. Perfect for family days at the beach, Dawlish Warren has all the amenities and entertainment's that you need for that perfect seaside holiday. Families can relax as the children play and have fun in the water, as Dawlish Warren is supervised by a team of experienced lifeguards.

Throughout the summer months, there is a programme of entertainment's for the children, with slap stick comedy, concerts and children's parities. The adults can indulge themselves in the pursuit of that elusive bargain at the weekly open air market.

The Warren itself is a wealth of opportunities for the rambler. Situated on the coastal path, it stretches from the towns of Dawlish and Teignmouth in the west along the coast to the Exe estuary towards East Devon, Exeter and the grounds of Powderham Castle. Powderham castle is the location of the main Exe estuary heronry, with a growing population of Little Egrets sharing the roost. The Tall trees in the grounds of the castle and in the surrounding countryside are believed to act as temporary perches for Ospreys who use the area as a staging post on their seasonal migration..

Dawlish Warren Nature Reserve.

The nature reserve at Dawlish Warren extends for 500 acres. It is an internationally important habitat for many wild species of plants, insects and birds. The reserve with its 450 different species of plant life, is famous for its collection of orchids and the unique Warren Crocus (Romulea columnae) - only found at this location. The crocus is protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 - Schedule 8.

Marram grass -Dawlish WarrenMarram grass (Ammophila arenaria) is the main colonising species on sand dunes. It is adapted to survive in environments that offer little water. The roots of these pioneer plants stabilise the sand, making it possible for other species to move onto the dunes.

Eventually the dunes are covered in a dense growth of marram grass. The extensive root system that the grass produces holds the dune in place, and organic matter from the grass's decaying roots and stems increases the fertility of the soil. This makes the environment more favourable for the growth of other plant species.

caterpillar of the Cinnabar mothRagwort (Senecio jacobaea) is a common plant species in the reserve, providing a food source for a wide range of insects and in particular, the yellow and black striped caterpillars of the Cinnabar moth (Callimorpha [Tyria] jacobaeae). The caterpillars also acquire poison from the ragwort, and advertise they unpalatable nature by their very obvious colour scheme.

The reserve also has an extensive growth of the small green Salicornia plant. These thrive in the area behind the dunes, beside the golf course. This area of the reserve is the favoured spot of the local ringed plovers.

The plovers avoid the shingle embankments as these are used by the larger waders such as the indigenous Oystercatchers. Dawlish Warren and the neighbouring Exe estuary support a large range of bird species - large groups of Widgeon, Bar Tailed Godwit, ducks such as Teal and Mallard, Dark Bellied Brent Geese, Redshank, and Turnstones .

Lupins at Dawlish WarrenThe Reserve also supports a large migrate bird population. Avocets and Brent Geese over winter on the reserve along with the indigenous population of Oystercatchers, Sanderlings and Terns.

The reserve is an important high tide roost for many of the waders and other seabirds of the area. The incoming tide, encroaches on the feeding grounds forcing the birds onto the spit at the estuary mouth, and once this is covered onto the shingle banks and sands of the warren. If the tides are particularly high, the birds may be forced onto the beaches and the adjacent grasslands.

The large numbers of waders and other birds that the food supply and roost sites on the Warren attract, sustain a significant population of predatory species such as the Sparrowhawk and the Peregrine Falcon.

There are several waymarked routes for you to follow through this unique habitat, and the Reserve has a Visitor Centre that will provide you with fascinating facts and information about the surrounding area and its wildlife as well as, arranging guided tours of the area for those who require it.


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