Explore Braunton - The Most Biodiverse Parish in England

Other Designations

Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

These sites are the best examples of our natural heritage of wildlife habitats, geological features and landforms. An SSSI is an area that has been notified as being of special interest under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Within Braunton the whole of Braunton Burrows and the Taw Torridge Estuary are SSSIs, in addition to Greenaways and Freshmarsh on Braunton Marsh, Braunton Swanpool west of the Great Field and Chapel Hill and Caen Valley Bats to the north of the village. 

Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

Special Areas of Conservation are strictly protected sites designated under the EC Habitats Directive. Braunton Burrows is designated an SAC, largely thanks to the biodiversity of the unique sand dune system.


Swanpool Marsh Nature Reserve

This area of the marshes, which was not drained as part of salt marsh reclamation, is owned and managed by Devon Wildlife Trust. It is an important site for marsh flora – being constantly wet – and associated fauna.

Lundy Marine Nature Reserve

Although not actually within the parish of Braunton, Lundy Island (which lies some 15 miles offshore) was part of the Braunton Hundred during the eighteenth century.

It gets a mention here because it is the country’s only marine nature reserve – thanks to its incredible variety of species both above and below the water. It can be seen from Saunton during clear weather and is well worth a day trip.


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