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The Exe Estuary

The River Exe is an internationally important site for wildlife. The Estuary is about eight miles long from south of Exeter down to the sea at Exmouth. The towns and villages of Topsham, Exton, Lympstone, Dawlish Warren, Starcross and Cockwood all border the Estuary. The River Clyst joins the Exe just below Topsham.

The Estuary is a Ramsar Internationally Important Wetland as well as a Special Protection Area because of the population of more than 20000 wintering wildfowl and waders including:

Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Lapwing, Grey Plover, Oystercatcher, Red-Breasted Merganser, Wigeon, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Cormorant and Avocet (Pictured). The Avocets and Slavonian grebe population are of European importance.

The foreshore at Dawlish Warren is a Nature Reserve as are the mudflats at Exmouth. Boats are requested to avoid these areas which are wildlife refuges and are marked with yellow Special Mark buoys that have Wildlife Refuge printed on them.

More information can be found at

Last updated 08:59 on 2 April 2024

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