Local Reserves

Seaton Wetlands Local Nature Reserve

Seaton MarshesSeaton Wetlands is a grazing marsh, with scrapes, ditches and ponds that attract considerable wildlife interest, from wildfowl and wading birds in the winter to dragonflies and butterflies in the summer. Seaton Marshes has recently been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award.  It includes Colyford Common which is regularly flooded by high tides that give this brackish marsh a very unusual flora and fauna, supporting many locally rare and nationally important species. The Hide and viewing platform offer fantastic views across the upper reaches of the estuary and surrounding saltmarsh. Little egrets fish in the creeks and lagoons on the estuary and large black and white shelduck can be seen grazing on the Local Nature ReseColyford Commonrve.

Before the Local Nature Reserve was established, there was no public access to the lower part of the Axe estuary, so very little was known of its value for wild birds. Now with the installation of a viewing hide and wheelchair-friendly paths, you are free to enjoy this beautiful area and its wildlife.  Click here to view a copy of the Seaton Wetlands leaflet.

How to get there:

Take the A3052 towards Lyme Regis from Exeter. Ignoring signs for Seaton, proceed to the village of Colyford, turning right at the post office onto Seaton Road. Drive towards Seaton town centre for approximately two kilometres, taking the forth turning left into Hillymead. Bear left down the hill and park on the right hand side of the cul-de-sac, where there is enough space for eight vehicles. Do not obstruct access to the water works. Alternatively, you can park in the Harbour Road Car Park next to the Tourist Information Centre and walk to the nature reserve along the cyclepath.

Holyford Woods Local Nature Reserve

Holyford WoodsHolyford Woods is a beautiful woodland, nestled in a picturesque valley near Seaton.  In the spring the woodland floor is carpeted in bluebells and the air is filled with the aroma of wild garlic. Oak, ash and hazel abound at Holyford and birds nest in holes in trees, bats roost in handy crevices and tangled roots can provide nest sites for weasels and wood mice. A goyle, or sunken stream runs through the heart of the woodland, feeding the Stafford Brook which runs into the Axe estuary at the nearby Colyford Common.

How to get there:

Driving along the A3052 from Exeter towards Seaton and Colyford, turn right signed Seaton at the Seaton Heights filling station. Drive a little way and park on the right-hand side of the road. The entrance to the reserve is a short walk back to the main road, along a footpath opposite the Seaton turn-off. Walk down the edge of the field and the entrance of the wood is directly in front of you.

Trinity Hill Local Nature Reserve

Trinity HillTrinity Hill is a large area of lowland heath, lying two miles outside the town of Axminster. The reserve is a fine example of heathland with many interesting and unusual plants and animals.

During the day, moths lie-up in the heathers waiting for nightfall and look out for linnets singing from tall shrubs on the heath in the late summer.

Much of the surrounding area has been taken over by forestry and turned into coniferous plantation, but Trinity Hill remains a beautiful natural oasis in this evergreen desert.

How to get there:

From Axminster take the A35 towards Lyme Regis. Just before Ramond’s Hill turn right along Trinity Hill Road. After one kilometre, the car park for the nature reserve is on your left.