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.


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

Path to bird hide closed due to erosion.



Please note that, due to storm damage and erosion, the dune path which provides access to the bird hide is now unsafe and has been closed by Teignbridge Council. We will update this webpage if the situation changes.

Access from Groyne 10 to Groyne 15 will be only be via the beach and there is a risk of being cut off for approximately one hour either side of the high water or in poor weather conditions. Please check the onsite notices for up to date information.

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.*

*Please note that the bird hide has been closed by Teignbridge Council due to erosion on the path.

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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