Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve



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The Slapton Ley NNR includes the largest natural freshwater lake in southwest England. Separated from the English Channel by a narrow shingle bar, the lake is surrounded by reed beds, marshes and woodland habitats. Summer wildflowers on the shingle ridge include yellow horned-poppy and viper’s bugloss. The lake shore of Slapton Ley is also the only place in Britain where you can see white-flowered strapwort, found here at the northernmost extent of its range. Cetti’s warblers are resident all year round, and there is usually a breeding population of about 40 singing males. There are as many as four pairs of cirl buntings in the thick hedgerows and grasshopper-rich grassland around the edges of the reserve. Slapton Ley is also an important staging post for wintering and passage birds including large flocks of swallows. If you are lucky you might catch a glimpse of mammals such as badgers, otters, dormice and bats. Over 250 species of lichen and 2,000 species of fungi – 29 of which have been described as new to science – have been recorded at Slapton Ley.

Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve


About the area

Discover Devon

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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