The North Devon Biosphere Reserve is one of 669 Biosphere Reserves around the world and was the first to be established in the UK, where it is now one of six. The reserve is primarily made up of farmland which has been recognised by UNESCO because of its diverse mix of stunning, high-quality natural areas. The reserve includes over 60 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), all of which are protected. These include culm grassland and broadleaved woodlands. It was one of the first of the modern style of biospheres monitored by UNESCO and aims to work with the people living in the area to enable them to help with the conservation of the area.

Where to find it

The North Devon Biosphere Reserve is located in one of the prettiest areas of North Devon. Centred around the ecologically rich landscape of Braunton Burrows with its incredible sand dunes and diverse scenery. The area of the North Devon Biosphere Reserve is some 3,300 km2, extending from the catchments of the Rivers Taw and Torridge and reaching out past Lundy Island, which is itself, a marine conservation area.

There are lots of ways to explore and connect with the North Devon Biosphere – on foot, by bike, via easy access routes and even with audio guided trails. From the large open areas of Culm Grassland at Heddon Green to the Marine Conservation Zone at Lundy Island, the North Devon Biosphere Reserve exhibits a wide range of diverse natural beauty for you to explore.

There are footpaths throughout the area including the South West Coast Path meaning there are plenty of ways for you to access the region.

Find out more…

Throughout the year, the North Devon Biosphere team run a number of projects to promote conservation and caretaking of the local environment. The projects range from focusing on cultural heritage, encouraging local learning, researching initiatives and supporting sustainable development opportunities.

Braunton Burrows is at the core of the Biosphere. As well as being the largest sand dune system in England, the dunes are home to a large number of rare plants and animals and is managed by a private estate, who play a vital role in the conservation efforts of the area. Some of the plants and animals that can be found in the biosphere include skylarks, otters, dormice, coral reefs, rough poppies and a selection of rare flora. The region is also one of the only places in the UK where you can find coral reefs, which are just off of Lundy Island.

You can find out more about their various activities and more information about the Biosphere by visiting their website,

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Eco Friendly

As the home of the UK’s first surf reserve and a commitment to marine conservation around Lundy Island, it is no surprise that being eco-friendly is high on the agenda across North Devon.

Beaches in North Devon

If you’re someone that enjoys long walks on golden sand, dramatic cliff faces, clear blue water and the perfect conditions for getting on a surf board, these are the beaches for you.