Explore Braunton - The Most Biodiverse Parish in England

Directions to the Wetlands and Description of the Site

Directions to the Wetlands

Suggested route from Caen Street Car Park:

Exit the Overflow Car Park at the south end, near the Police station.
Proceed down Station Road past Signal Court and look for an entrance to the Cycleway on your left hand side near Gubbins Lane.
Follow the Cycleway south to Velator Cross.
Continue straight on passed the roundabout and rejoin the Cycleway (Coast Path and The Tarka Trail.)
The first entrance to the site is 170 metres on your left.

Suggested route from Braunton Community College:

Leave the school and walk north along Wrafton Road. Take the first turning on your left and proceed down Barton Lane to the main A361. Find a safe place to cross the road and then proceed down Velator Way, which starts opposite the garage.
You can join the Cycleway at the roundabout. Look for the Cycleway entrance on the left hand side. Once you join the Cycleway at Velator Cross roundabout you can use the site map provided in your pack to explore the Wetland Site.

Suggested bus route:

First Bus (tel: 01271 376524) run two services with a request stop at Wrafton, near the Williams Arms. No 3 Service runs between Ilfracombe and Barnstaple twice an hour. No 308 Service runs between Barnstaple and Georgeham once an hour.

From the Wrafton Bus Stop, walk towards Braunton and take the road opposite the Williams Arms. Follow the road until it meets the cycleway at Old Wrafton Station and turn right onto the cycleway/coast path to Braunton. Access to the viewing platform is approximately 500 metres on the right.

Description of the Site

Velator Wetland Site occupies a triangular piece of ground between Wrafton and Velator, bounded by the Tarka Cycle Way (which was once the Barnstaple to Ilfracombe Railway line), the road between Wrafton and Velator and the Wrafton housing estate.

There is an easy walking route round the outside of the site, which is approx quarter of a mile. There are three access points, two from the cycle way and one from the road near the housing estate. (Please note there is no specific parking area designated at the site but parking for minibuses is available in the Caen Street car park in Braunton).
A raised square, grass covered seating area
Walking from Braunton along the cycle track the first access point you will find will lead you down a ramp to a straight grass path. A two metre wide path will lead you through the vegetation to a large mown area. Within this area is a raised square, grass covered seating area. One drawback, is that the grass path could be difficult for wheelchairs and the ramp may be slightly too steep.

Further along the cycle track you will find the main access to the site via a wheelchair friendly ramp. This proceeds down a wooden walkway, constructed through the reed beds out to a viewing stage. From this a boat shaped platform has been fastened, from which you can view the lake. It has wide steps down inside, but is not accessible for prams and wheelchairs.  Here you can sit and look out onto the wetland from water level. Although the sides of the structure are quite high, and the water level is not easily accessed, there may be opportunity to carry out supervised point dipping from both the floating structure and ramp.
The boat shaped platform
If you return to the cycle way and walk towards Barnstaple and the old Wrafton Station you can walk around the outside of the site. When you reach the cycleway access gate, turn left and then look for a surfaced footway that takes you between Wrafton housing estate and the lake.  You will eventually come to the third access point, which is located at the gate off the road, just passed Wrafton Stores. The ground is firm and it is easy to push a wheelchair up onto the embankment.  The gradient means that wheelchairs must be attended at all times. The grass path is cut half way along the embankment and there are three leaning posts from which you can observe the whole of the lake and wetland, before returning out the gate you entered through.

To the right-hand side of the page, historical maps of Velator Wetlands are available for download.

This is a sketch map of Velator Lake.  A blank sketch map, which the children can annotate for themselves, is included below.

Sketch Map of Velator Lake

Sketch Map of Velator Lake Blank

explore braunton, the most biodiverse parish in england - a north devon aonb project