Dawlish Warren

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This sand spit looks unpromising when arriving as it's a holiday resort and there are funfair rides and arcades. Passing under the railway line, and branching left through a huge car park will take one to the reserve entrance. Short turf leads to the reserve centre which has interesting exhibits as well as a list outside of recently spotted birds etc. Behind the centre, towards the golf course is an area where the rare sand crocus (tiny pink flower) can be seen on sunny days round about Easter time.The sand dunes on the right are planted with marram grass and have tree lupins (yellow) growing. On the left, ahead is a large pond with reedbeds; ideal for birds of all sorts (even bittern in the spring). The reserve is important for migrants as a stopping off point. Dragonflies are common and extremely pretty. Paths go round the pond but straight on leads to a wetter meadow although the path is dry. In this area autumn lady's tresses orchid and adderstongue fern grow, amongst other interesting plants. Earlier orchids are lovely too. This area is now grazed by ponies to keep the scrub down. Venturing over the dunes (fairly good paths) take one to the beach or dune-top path which leads right to the end of the sandspit. Turning left half way along by a sign will lead to a bird hide looking over a lagoon. On the beach, as well as on the lagoon side there are interesting birds at high tide. No dogs are allowed. At the end of the Warren, the River Exe is a narrow fast flowing channel with Exmouth extremely close yet inaccessible. Lots to see all the way along the route and ice creams available on the return towards the car!

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