Braunton & Braunton Burrows

A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Braunton, one of the largest villages in England, is situated approximately 6 miles from Ilfracombe. Through the centre runs the Caen Stream, a tributary of the Taw and the village is home to the nearby Braunton Great Field and Braunton Burrows. The area is very popular amongst surfers with the beaches of Croyde and Saunton Sands close by. The Bakehouse Centre houses the Museum & Tourist Information. Close by is the Braunton Countryside Centre run by the North Devon Environmental Trust.

Braunton Burrows is the largest sand dune system in the UK. The dunes are stabilized and held in place by the root systems of a variety of creeping plants. It hosts an extraordinarily diverse plant community, with over 400 recorded species. Its uniqueness and biodiversity is recognised in its status as a National Nature Reserve and as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. The name is derived from the large numbers of rabbit burrows in the area. The rabbits  have a profound effect on the vegetation through their grazing, in many places creating a short, cropped turf of herbs and grasses. The valleys between the dunes, known as slacks, are wet and marshy in the winter and host a variety of marsh herbs and low creeping shrubs.

Braunton Burrows is a perfect place to go for a long walk with – or without! – your dog but please have consideration for the wildlife, farm animals and the environment, in particular the ground nesting birds that are extremely vulnerable to disturbance. Dogs should be under control at all times and please pick up after them.