The bight at Dawlish Inner Warren nature reserve

The bight, Dawlish Inner Warren. Photo, Simon Williams

Part of the massive Dawlish Warren sand spit at the mouth of the River Exe. This reserve is a vital home and migratory stopping off place for thousands of wading birds and wildfowl.


Access to this Devon Wildlife Trust managed nature reserve/site

We recognise access to nature is hugely important to wellbeing, but at this difficult time, we need to have the health of our staff and the community at the forefront of our mind - including neighbours to our nature reserves. Nature reserve car parks are therefore temporarily closed, and we are asking people not to drive/travel to our sites. For those who live locally and may be accessing sites for the purposes of their daily exercise, we ask that everyone observe government restrictions on outdoor access and ensure guidelines on social distancing are always followed.

Please be aware that key staff will be accessing this site for regular livestock and health and safety checks.

Advice and rules on public access may change. Please keep up to date on the status of access to this site and also to benefit from lots of great information about our work, about wildlife and about how you can take action for Devon’s stunning natural environment, by visiting and by following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

Our work for local wildlife continues and remains as important as ever. To find out more about ways in which you can help and enjoy wildlife at home join our FREE e-news and to support our work visit


East of Dawlish

OS Map Reference

SX 985 794
A static map of Dawlish Inner Warren

Know before you go

113 hectares

Entry fee


Grazing animals


Walking trails

Paths are clear from the car park to the birdhide. This route will take about an hour.


Paths lead sand dunes. Access to the birdhide via a stretch of beach. Much of our Inner Warren is used as a golf course. Access to these parts is by permit only. Contact us for disabled access information.


No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

Our Dawlish Inner Warren nature reserve forms part of a massive sand spit which reaches out across the mouth of the River Exe.

This is one of the South West's best birdwatching locations. A dedicated bird hide brings you close to the action.

Contact us

Devon Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01392 279244

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

Location map

Curlew in wet sand

Curlew. Photo, Neil Bygrave

Best for birds

'The Warren', as it is known, and its surrounding mudflats, is a vital feeding ground for thousands of wading birds and wildfowl.

In spring and autumn it acts as a stopover site for migrating birds.

Look out for a long list including sandwich terns, Arctic terns, curlews, black- and bar-tailed godwitsbrent geese and red-breasted mergansers.

Warren crocus at Dawlish Warren

Warren crocus. Photo, Vicki Gardner

The rare Warren crocus

Elsewhere, Inner Warren is the only British home to the tiny Warren crocus. 

Much of Inner Warren is used as a golf course by the Warren Golf Club and so access is restricted. Access to the Outer Warren is open to the public. This part of the site is managed by Teignbridge District Council.

Access update November 2019

Recent storms have meant that the dune path through the Outer Warren between groynes 10 and 18 is unsafe to use and is now closed. Part of the Environment Agency's 'Geotube' sea defences have also become exposed.

Access along the site, to and from Warren Point (and the bird hide) will be along the beach only, with the risk of being cut off for a period either side of high water. Signs are being placed around the Warren to alert people.

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