First-time visitors to Braunton Burrows are utterly amazed by the breath-taking scale of the sand dunes that gives them their name. A spectacular site, the Burrows is highly treasured for many reasons.
Man Biosphere Reserve
Braunton Burrows are the core of the country’s first newly-designated Man and the Biosphere Reserve.
It is a world-class designation that makes the status of the area equal to that of other world-wide Biosphere Reserves such as the Danube Delta, the Hawaiian Islands and the Great Gobi.
For more details of this special accolade please see the North Devon Biosphere Reserve web-site and for details of numerous other land designations in Braunton, please see the information about the project.
The land is owned and managed by Christie Devon Estates and part of it is leased to the Ministry of Defence. More about the military later!
The Best View
Probably the best view of the dunes can be seen from Saunton Sands Hotel.
From here, the entire stretch of Saunton Sands beach can be seen, extending some 6km south towards the Taw Torridge Estuary. The Burrows lie just behind the beach and fill the 1.5km wide band between the beach and marshes.
Braunton Burrows are prime dog-walking country but please do keep your dog under control – ground nesting birds are vulnerable to disturbance and there may be livestock grazing in certain areas.
A great many dogs are exercised on the Burrows each day and, if none of their faeces were picked up, this would result in several tonnes being deposited on ecologically sensitive ground. Already chemical changes have become evident with the increase in stinging nettles so it would be very much appreciated if you could pick up after your dog – bins have been specially provided.