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Dawlish Warren Wildlife Refuge – Created so birds can rest and feed undisturbed

A satellite image of the southern part of the Exe Estuary with the Exmouth and Dawlish Wildlife Refuges shown.

Launched in 2017, the Exe Wildlife Refuges identify two areas within the estuary as specifically important for resident and over-wintering birds. The Dawlish Warren Wildlife Refuge protects an area of saltmarsh, inter-tidal mudflats and the most important high-tide roost on the lower estuary. At low-tide, when the mudflats are exposed, the Refuge provides rich feeding grounds for waders and wildfowl, including Curlew, Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit and Greenshank. At high-tide, Oystercatcher, Dunlin, and Grey Plover, find shelter on ‘hide island’ and ‘finger point’.

To ensure that birds are able to rest and feed in this area undisturbed, we ask that everyone avoid entering the Dawlish Warren Refuge all year round, at all tidal states.

Birds rely on a safe space to rest at high-tide when their food source is unavailable. The closer this is to their source of food, the better for conserving energy, especially during the cold winter months.

Please see signs on site to help you understand this protected conservation area.