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Dawlish Warren
an area of international importance for wildlife
Dawlish Warren beach

Dawlish warren is a place that is great for lots of different activities. No matter the time of year, a day at the beach holds many opportunities for fun!

A photo of Dawlish Warren tourist beach - photo courtesy Noah Harnett

Should you tire of summer sun, sand and sea, a wander onto the nature reserve can be exactly the tonic for escaping the hustle and bustle of high season. In the winter months, the incredible diversity of migratory bird species ensures there is always something to see on site. A walk along the shore, out to the point, is sure to blow the cobwebs away.

Here’s some guidance to ensure you stay safe and enjoy your chosen activity whilst respecting the habitat and wildlife at this stunning location!

-              Swimming

A photo of a feather flag used to inform visitors about the dog-free zone at Dawlish Warren

-              A walk with the dog

-              Beyond Groyne 9. Due to the sensitivity of the area for wildlife, there is no access for dogs beyond Groyne 9 of the beach, year-round. Other requirements apply to different parts of the site, as shown in this map.

In winter large bird flocks roost on the beach north-east of Groyne 9. All visitors (including dog owners) are asked not to walk along the beach here for approximately 3 hours either side of 'medium' to 'spring' high tides when roosting birds will be present.  Tide times and heights are posted on notices at Groyne 9 on site, or consult tide tables for Exmouth. If in any doubt please ask at the Visitor Centre.

A photo of a Bar-tailed Godwit








-  Birdwatching. A major attraction for many bird watchers is the large number of wading birds, ducks and geese. As the incoming tide covers the mudflats (which form rich feeding grounds), the birds are steadily pushed up towards the high tide mark. Here they rest waiting for the tide to expose the feeding grounds again. Storm damage has eroded the dune paths between groyne 10 and groyne 15. Regrettably there is no access to the bird hide for the foreseeable future.  All access to and from Warren Point is via the beach only with some risk of being cut off around high water. Please read site notices and plan your visit. 





A photo of Petalwort - photo courtesy R.V. Lansdown

- Botany - Almost 700 different types of flowering plants have so far been recorded at Dawlish Warren. The high number of different species in such a relatively small area is due in part to the richness of habitat types found within the Reserve. Mobile dune, semi-fixed dune, fixed dune, salt marsh, scrub and freshwater wetland all have special plants which are adapted to the different prevailing conditions. Leave flowers for others to enjoy

-              Metal detecting – seeking buried treasure? Only dig on the beach please, not in the sand dunes, grassland or mudflats