Now we’re in February, you might start to notice the first signs of spring appearing - which is why now is the perfect time to watch the seasons change at one of the region’s nature reserves.
East Devon is a beautiful part of the UK, much of it falls within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and on top of the fascinating Jurassic Coast, there is also a host of nature reserves for you to explore. Here are some of our suggestions for nature reserves in and around Sidmouth.
Knapp Copse Local Nature Reserve
For those of you staying in Sidmouth and not wanting to travel too far, Knapp Copse nature reserve is a good place to start. Located within the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and with a number of walking routes, including the popular East Devon Way, this is a great place to visit whatever the season. If you’re there towards the end of the day, don’t pack up too soon as the car park has Dark Skies status, meaning it is a good place for stargazing because of the lack of light pollution. The site has a mix of meadows, woods and streams, so there is plenty to explore.
Perhaps one of the best known places in East Devon, Seaton Westland is an amazing nature reserve to visit. It’s particularly good for bird watchers, as there are a number of hides dotted around the site. Seaton Wetlands also has 4km of trails and broadwalks, all of which are level, so whatever your age or ability, the whole family can enjoy a day out.
Not far from the Wetlands is Holyford Woods, a wooded area with a lot of pathways and trails to explore. The site falls under a conservation area, so you can easily spot wildlife as you walk around including birds, mice and weasels. It’s easy to find, just look for the signs from the Seaton Down picnic area.
Venn Ottery Common
This is one of the largest blocks of lowland heath that remains in Devon and has lots of interesting plant life to enjoy. It is also home to a small herd of ponies and even lizards and slow worms have been found there.
These are just a selection of the nature reserves you can find in East Devon. Many of them in this part of Devon are managed by the team at Wild East Devon, you can find out more about each one, plus how to get there here.