Devon has always been known for its outstanding countryside. From rolling hills to dramatic cliffs and from knotty woodlands to vast sandy beaches, the topography, flora and fauna of Devon have proven to be a ripe source of inspiration for artists, as well as a huge reason to return year after year for our guests.
Hidden amongst those landscapes are some of the most diverse examples of wildlife you’ll find anywhere in the country – wildlife that makes exploring those spaces as exhilarating as anywhere you’ll find.
Countless people arrive every year to discover the amazing wildlife of Devon, utilising our Devon holiday cottages as a base, but what can you expect to find? Let’s take a look.
At the Beach
Devon’s beautiful beaches are always popular with guests, and for good reason – they run the gamut from dramatic rock beaches to soft, golden sand. But it’s the wildlife that’s truly exciting.
Every beach’s wildlife is different, but it’s not uncommon to find stranded jellyfish on the beaches, with barrel jellyfish and moon jellyfish the most common sights. Indeed, as the tide goes out you can head to the rock pools to find shrimps bobbing, crabs scuttling, starfish clinging to rocks and endless numbers of molluscs, barnacles and sea anemones inside the rock pools.
In the Rivers
Devon boasts a number of rivers including the Teign, Dart, Erme, Taw and Plym, alongside the Otter and Axe, each of which boasts remarkable wildlife.
Every summer and autumn adult Atlantic salmon and brown trout begin their journeys upstream to their spawning grounds, joining the likes of bream, pike, rudd and perch fish which swim happily in the tranquil flowing waters of Devon’s rivers.
Under the water you’ll notice the distinctive bright pink flowers of the invasive Himalayan balsam, however, you’ll also find native purple loosestrife, water dropwort and hemp agrimony too. Take a look up and you’ll see kingfisher birds, dippers and grey wagtails as well.
Devon’s perhaps most noted for its otters though, which have made their home everywhere along the county’s rivers. They’re elusive beasts but keep an eye out!
On the Moors and in the Heath
With over 400 square miles of unspoilt moorland in Devon, the moors of Devon play host to a wide variety of wildlife. Together with the heathlands of Devon, you’ll be amazed at wildlife on show.
The skies above the moors boast ravens, buzzards, skylarks and meadow pipits, as well as cuckoos. On the ground, you’ll see adders, lizards, toads and frogs, whilst close inspection of the bogs will reveal carnivorous sundews and butterwort.
Meanwhile, a trip to the heathlands of Devon finds soaring Dartford warblers and stonechats, scuttering common lizards, slinky adders and slow worms and the joyous sight of countless butterflies and moths, which inhabit the area during the summer months.
Heading out in the evening during June and July will even yield the exceptionally unusual sounds of the nightjar call, which makes for a rare and spectacular treat. It’s just one of the many unusual sights and sounds of Devon’s wildlife.