Explore Braunton - The Most Biodiverse Parish in England


Throughout history, Braunton farmers have made enough to feed themselves and their family, but not much more. Some might sell a small amount of produce in the village but most were generally self-sufficient with not a lot to spare.

Velator Quay

Bessie Clark and the barge Hilda at VelatorAs time went on however, improvements were made at Velator Quay and this opened new opportunities to local farmers. Apart from being able to ship their produce to markets far and wide they were able to obtain lime, which they used as a fertiliser.

It was shipped over from Wales and burnt in numerous lime kilns around the coast. The farmers also used seaweed from the beaches, in addition to soot from the village’s chimneys, to improve the soil.

The Great Field

‘In the Harvest Field’Some of the people in Braunton today still remember the days when horses were used for every job on the Great Field, when everyone knew each other and life was much more simple.

In time however, the horses were replaced with modern machinery and the strips were gradually sold off so that now ownership of the Great Field is shared between a handful of people.

Certain Braunton families still retain links with the Great Field, which has provided livelihoods for generations of their ancestors.

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