Dragonfly

Biodiversity

Internationally important habitat

East Devon AONB has a significant area of internationally important habitat. Special Areas for Conservation (SAC) account for 1644 ha of the AONB, Special Protection Areas (SPA) cover some 1118 ha which includes a small overlap with the Exe Estuary which is also RAMSAR site (an area of wetland of international importance - click here for more detail). These include, for example:
• East Devon Pebblebed Heaths SPA /SAC
• Part of River Axe SAC
• Part of the 897 ha Sidmouth to West Bay SAC
• Beer Quarry Caves SAC

The Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site was the first natural site in England inscribed by UNESCO, offering 95 miles of geological exposures.

Internationally Important HabitatLowland Heath habitat

Nationally and locally designated areas

There are 14 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within the AONB covering some 1811 ha, ranging from  geological quarry features to fen habitat and accounting for almost 7% of the AONB landscape.
68.6% of these SSSI’s are currently in favourable condition in East Devon AONB).

The Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs National Nature Reserve encompasses 334 ha of the coastal habitat in the AONB. The geology that forms the AONB landscape is exposed in dramatic form on the World Heritage Site in a series of cliffs and headlands and is also visible inland in the form of geological exposures at Wilmington and Shapwick Grange Quarries and Beer Quarry caves. These sites are complemented by a number of Regionally Important Geological Sites (RIGS).

Local sites

County Wildlife Sites (CWS) and Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) are further designations which afford both protection and, in the case of LNRs, public access to the wildlife and geological resource of the AONB. The AONB occupies some 33% of the East Devon District and as the table below shows; there are 135 CWS in the AONB, representing 49% of those within the District. Two LNRs, Fire Beacon Hill and Knapp Copse fall entirely within the AONB with others such as Trinity Hill straddling the boundary.

 

County Wildlife Sites

Habitat

AONB

East Devon

% in AONB

 

No Sites

Area (ha)

No Sites

Area (ha)

By Number

By Area

Heathland

12

451.9

35

642.2

34%

70%

Woodland

47

735.2

95

1508

49%

49%

Acidic Grassland

12

277.2

17

312.3

23%

89%

Marshy Grassland

20

161.2

47

530.7

42%

30%

Calcareous Grassland

16

173.8

19

196.9

84%

88%

Neutral Grassland

43

347.5

83

614.4

51%

57%

Springline Mire

4

31.7

32

204.6

12%

15%

Total CWS in AONB

135

 

Total CWS in East Devon

276

Total area of CWS in AONB

1817

Total area of CWS in East Devon

3351

 


Contact Us

East Devon AONB Partnership
Kennaway House
Coburg Road, Sidmouth
EX10 8NG

Tel: 01404 46663

Email : info@eastdevonaonb.org.uk


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About Us

In England and Wales, our finest landscapes have been conserved through designation as National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

The East Devon AONB was designated in 1963 and is one of the 46 AONBs situated across the UK. The National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty provides general information about AONBs, whilst the South West Protected Landscapes Forum exists to provide information and a regional voice for the 14 Protected Landscapes which, together, make up 38% of the South West of England.

Find out more >