A lake, heathland and meadows go to make a wonderfully diverse nature reserve.

"Probably the best nature reserve in Devon" Nick Baker, Naturalist & TV presenter

This is one of Devon Wildlife Trust's most popular nature reserves - and it's easy to see why.


Bystock has great variety. Visit and you'll find yourself stopping to take in beautiful views across a lily-pad filled lake, strolling through heathland on boardwalks, and climbing the gentle slopes of a wildflower meadow. 


Download our new 'mindfulness trail' designed by Clare Carter, promising visitors the chance to get away from some of the worst stresses and strains of modern life. 

Take a tour of Bystock Pools using our film made with help from Tesco Bags of Help  

Dragonfly heaven

The nature reserve is well-known for its dragonflies and damselflies which in spring and summer dance across the surface of its open water and heathland. Look out for emperor, downy emerald and golden-ringed dragonflies as they fly around you.


Bystock is good for birds too. Head for its heathland to see willow warblers, blackcaps and stonechats. On summer evenings listen for the weird and wonderful calls of nightjars. 


Look for the light 

Summer evenings are also the time to look out for bats at Bystock, and for the lights of glow worms as the females signal for a mate from the grass of the reserve's meadow.


Bystock is cared for by a very active group of local volunteers. Say hello to them as they help to keep this special place in tip-top condition!


Plan your visit and begin to explore

You can begin to plan your visit to Bystock Pools using our free download nature reserve leaflet. And to plan a longer walk starting at the nature reserve use the Bystock Wild Walk.  


Bystock is also part of the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths. East Budleigh Common and the East Devon Way are within an easy walk. 


Swimming and boating is not permitted at Bystock Pools nature reserve.



Bystock Pool's film, access improvements, interpretation signage and habitat improvements made in 2017 were supported by 


Nearby nature reserves

Dawlish Inner Warren
4 miles - Devon Wildlife Trust
Venn Ottery
5 miles - Devon Wildlife Trust
Exe Reed Beds
5 miles - Devon Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

4 miles north of Exmouth
Nr Exmouth
EX8 5EB (gets you close to the reserve's entrance)
Map reference
SY 033 844
Great for...
getting away from it all
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
27.00 hectares
A short access for all path leads around the reservoir, the rest of the reserves has boardwalks and rough paths. Routes around the reserves are clearly marked with paths. Contact the Trust for disabled access information
Walking information
Routes around the reserves are clearly marked with paths, allow 1 hour to complete a circular walk
Main entrance: roadside parking. North entrance: small grassy area near entrance, avoid using during wet weather
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Devon Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01647 253121


Factsheets and guides for your visit