Braunton Burrows is one of the largest sand dune systems in the British Isles. It lies at the heart of the North Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and a UNESCO designated Biosphere reserve. It is home to an abundance of flowers, plants and wildlife.
Braunton Burrows is owned and managed by Christie Devon Estates in conjunction with Natural England. Both work closely with key stakeholders (including the North Devon Coast and the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Reserve) to manage and conserve this range of stunning dune habitats.
Recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Braunton Burrows is a wild expanse, approximately 1,000 hectares in size. It is located to the north of the Taw and Torridge estuary and flanked by Saunton Sands, a stretch of sandy beach.
Braunton Burrows played an important role in the Second World War and continues to be used by the military for a range of activities. The landscape provides realistic desert driving conditions and a challenging environment to navigate through. The coast also allows for beach landing rehearsals as well as the occasional air craft landing.
While the presence of vehicles may appear counter intuitive on a site of ecological interest, controlled use to churn up pathways and brush can make a positive contribution by clearing space for rarer flowers and plants to grow.
The dunes at Braunton Burrows are deceptively extensive. The Braunton Burrows guide will help you navigate around the site. It provides an aerial view, as well as two walks across the dunes, set within lots of site information. Both walks take about an hour and a half and show off the history, ecology and all-round beauty of the site.
The history walk, located to the south of the site, highlighted in blue on the aerial view, can be enhanced with this audio tour.