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Reserves - Meeth Quarry

Meeth Quarry

See boxing brown hares in early spring, and dragonflies & damselflies galore in summer, at this expansive wildlife haven.

Meeth Quarry is unlike any other Devon Wildlife Trust nature reserve. Its industrial past has dramatically shaped its present. For nearly 100 years it was a series of busy clay quarries and mines. The legacy of this industry has created a very diverse landscape. Today, two enormous lakes and massive piles of clay spoil dominate its features. Elsewhere there are ponds, woodlands, bogs and grasslands.

Together these make Meeth Quarry nature reserve a home for a diverse range of wildlife and a wonderful place for people to explore.

What to see:

  • 14 species of dragonfly and damselfly around the settling ponds and other areas of open water
  • Butterflies (including wood white, grayling and green hairstreak)
  • Brown hare in the sparse open areas on former clay 'spoil' heaps
  • Skylarks and tree pipits in the open grassland
  • Geese and ducks, incuding tufted duck, shoveler and goosander, on the lakes

Take a behind the scenes look at how Meeth Quarry nature reserve looked when Devon Wildlife Trust first took it over in 2013 with this this film by 'Sandman72' 

Due to the sheer size of the reserve and variety of habitats present in the landscape, Meeth Quarry has the potential to become a flagship nature reserve in the heart of the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area.  It is hoped that Meeth will offer year-round opportunities to see fascinating wildlife and a living demonstration of landscape restoration in action. 

Devon Wildlife Trust's Chief Executive, Harry Barton, says 'There is still a lot to be done, but we will continue to work hard to secure the funding and resources needed to realize the full potential of this fantastic asset in terms of benefits to both wildlife and the wider community. ’


Meeth Quarry contains large areas of dangerous deep water - swimming is prohibited.

Update: During December and January 2015-16 significant building operations will take place at Meeth Quarry nature reserve. While the nature reserve will remain open at all times, there may be some disruption to access to its main car park and along its access road from Meeth village. The Tarka Trail will remain unaffected by this work. 

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