Isley Marsh is made up of saltmarsh and intertidal mudflats on the southern edge of the Taw Torridge estuary and lies largely within the estuary SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). As it is largely underwater at high tide, no management is carried out and no birds breed. However, it is an important haven in the busy estuary for undisturbed feeding and resting birds, especially the wintering flocks of ducks (such as teal) and waders (including significant numbers of curlew, greenshank and dunlin). In recent years, numbers of little egret have increased and, in winter, it is often possible to see spoonbills. An active group of local volunteer wardens monitor the birds and try to keep disturbance to a minimum. Visitor access is restricted to public footpaths, largely outside the reserve itself, but allowing expansive views across the estuary and the surrounding farmland. There is no public parking within two miles, although the Tarka Trail runs along the south side of the reserve, allowing easy foot and cycle access along this former railway track.
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About The area
With magnificent coastlines, two historic cities and the world-famous Dartmoor National Park, Devon sums up all that is best about the British landscape. For centuries it has been a fashionable and much loved holiday destination – especially south Devon’s glorious English Riviera.
Close to the English Riviera lies Dartmoor, one of the south-west’s most spectacular landscapes. The National Park, which contains Dartmoor, covers 365 square miles and includes many fascinating geological features – isolated granite tors and two summits exceeding 2,000 feet among them.
Not surprisingly, in Dartmoor the walking opportunities are enormous. Cycling in the two National Parks is also extremely popular and there is a good choice of off-road routes taking you to the heart of Dartmoor and Exmoor. Devon’s towns and cities offer stimulating alternatives to the rigours of the countryside.
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