Nature Reserves & Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty


The whole of the coast around Bigbury on Sea is designated as a Heritage Coast. The area is also part of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which covers 337 square kilometres, including much of the South Hams area of Devon and the rugged coastline from Jennycliff to Elberry Cove near Brixham.

  • South Efford Marsh (NatureReserve) – (5 miles) – a marsh grassland covered in wild flowers and a haven for butterflies and kingfishers.

  • Andrew’s Wood (Nature ReserveR) (7 miles) – an established woodland haven for ferns and wildflowers which thrive under the shade of the trees.

  • Salcombe and Kingsbridge Estuary (AONB) (10 miles) – The estuary is tidal up as far as Kingsbridge, the bridging point 5 miles inland. Like the other estuaries of South Devon, the original deep river valley has been inundated by later sea level rise, with the tide flooding in to create a wide expanse of water.

  • Avon Estuary (AONB) (3 miles) – The River Avon (or Aune as it is also known) rises 460 metres above sea level on the Aune Head mires of south Dartmoor and makes its 23 mile journey to the sea passing through the Avon Reservoir, South Brent, Avonwick, Loddiswell and Aveton Gifford before reaching the estuary mouth at Bantham and Bigbury on Sea. The estuary which is heavily tidal provides a good habitat for wading birds.