Interactive Heritage MapWorld Heritage Sites South West


North Devon Biosphere

Welcombe Mouth

North Devon's Biosphere Reserve is the first of only two 'new style' Biosphere Reserve in the UK. These have core functions of conservation, learning and research, and sustainable development and three different management zones.

Biosphere Reserves are places with world-class environments that are designated by the United Nations to promote and demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature. They are places where conservation and sustainable development go hand in hand.

The geographical area of the North Devon's Biosphere Reserve is based on water flowing from its source via the rivers out to sea. The area of land that catches rainfall for a river is known as the catchment and the biosphere catchment includes the wide swathe of countryside, which connects all the streams to the Taw and Torridge rivers which begin high up on Dartmoor and Exmoor. Many small towns: Chulmleigh, Witheridge, South Molton, Winkleigh, Hatherleigh, Torrington, Bratton Fleming and their surrounding villages are in the biosphere and just as important to its existence and well-being as the world-famous Braunton Burrows (at its heart) and of course the coastal area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). The water then flows out to sea affecting sea life around Lundy and beyond.

For more information visit


Exmoor Cliffs

  • London Paddington to Exeter from there take the Tarka Line towards Barnstaple
  • Bristol Temple Meads to Exeter

The Biosphere Reserve is all of North Devon, there are great wildlife opportunities throughout the area. There are great sites from each of the railway stations.

After Barnstaple the bus routes are the way to explore the Biosphere Reserve.

  • Braunton Burrows. Travel to Saunton Sands on the 308 bus
  • Westward Ho! and Appledore Bus 1 and 2 respectively
  • Hartland Peninsula Travel to Hartland on the 319 bus
  • Torrington Travel to Torrington and Rosemoor Gardens, Torrington Commons Bus 315
  • Woolacombe Bay and Mortehoe Bus 303
  • Exmoor take the bus to Lynton and Lynmouth  Bus 300, 309, 310
  • Dartmoor take the bus 118 or catch the Dartmoor Rover
  • Ruby Country take the bus to Holsworthy  Bus 85 or 285
  • Combe Martin and Ilfracombe Bus 30

Cycling around the Tarka Trail Cycle way

Bike Hire locations:

  • Tarka Trail Bike Hire: 01271 324202 EX31 2AU
  • Bike Trail Cycle Hire: 01271 372586 EX31 2NH
  • Torrington Cycle Hire: 01805 622633 EX38 8JD
  • Bideford Cycle Hire: 01237 424123 EX39 4DR
  • Otter Cycle Hire: 01271 813339 EX33 2AQ

Visit Lundy and view Bideford Bay from the sea>