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Our nature reserves
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There are so many great walks across Devon, from coastal cliff scrambles to moorland heath rambles. Whether you're after a relaxing stroll through rolling countryside or you're looking for hiking across ragged wild places, Devon has it all!
Here you will find a growing list of walks that take you around and beyond our nature reserves giving you the opportunity to take in the air along with spotting some amazing wildlife.
Bystock Wild Walk - 6 miles
Hiking across the heath! This walk combines the varied heathland habitats and ponds of Bystock nature reserve with a pleasant walk through the East Devon countryside to the delightful village of East Budleigh, returning past Hayes Barton, the birthplace of Sir Walter Raleigh. The walk is approximately 6 miles in length and offers some beautiful views of the heathland of East Devon and the opportunity to spot many of the heathland species such as stonechats and dragonflies. This walk is mainly on footpaths and tracks and is child-friendly, although there are ponds and some narrow roads to be aware of.
Dunsdon Wild Walk - 4 miles
Visit Devon Wildlife Trust's flagship Culm grassland site, Dunsdon National Nature Reserve and its neighbour Vealand Farm nature reserve connected by the stunning Bude Canal. See the Culm grassland meadows, wander the winding historic waterway and take a look at the ongoing restoration work at Vealand Farm nature reserve with its new network of ponds, hedges and meadows. The best time to do this walk is between May-September, when the Culm meadows are at their prime.
This walk is approximately 4 miles in length and is suitable for children, with fairly level paths and although there is some rough ground, the wider reserve is definitely worth exploring - you might even be lucky enough to spot the rare marsh fritillary butterfly!
River Exe Wild Walk - 6 miles
This Wild Walk takes you from DWT's headquarters at Cricklepit Mill in Exeter down the River Exe to one of DWT's lesser-known nature reserves, Old Sludge Beds. The route is mainly level and is around 6 miles in length, suitable for both children and dogs.
Bovey Basin Wild Walk - 4.5 miles
We have developed a walk which takes in DWT’s three heathland nature reserves in the Bovey Basin; Bovey Heathfield, Little Bradley Ponds and Chudleigh Knighton Heath. The route provides stunning views of Dartmoor, tranquil ponds buzzing with dragonflies and open expanses of heathland filled with the songs of rare birds and the rustle of reptiles.
The walk uses mainly bridle paths and minor roads and is approximately four miles. The route is specifically aimed at giving you a flavour of each reserve so please do explore further if you have time!
Halsdon - The James Ravilious Photography Trail - 3 miles
Travel back in time by walking the James Ravilious Photography Trail. James Ravilious was a local photographer who, in the 1970s and 1980s, took more than seventy thousand images of north Devon, including Halsdon nature reserve. This trail takes you to some of the locations that he photographed.
Imagine you have stepped back 30 years; note the differences, the changes in the environment. Look at the landscape around you, look again at what a Ravilious photograph is showing, or not showing; think about the past, and also the future.
The trail is about three miles in length through the nature reserve and surrounding lanes.
Shorter walks on single nature reserves
These reserves offer interesting Wild Walks around single sites. Download the leaflets below:
Ruby Country walks
If you live in north and west Devon you can find some great walks on the Ruby Country website. Ruby Country offers a series of eight Ruby Trails. The trails follow way-marked routes starting from Holsworthy, Hatherleigh, Bradworthy, Cookbury, Sheepwash, Petrockstowe, Tetcott and Germansweek.