Centered around the coastal town of Exmouth, this tour includes three evening and three half day sessions exploring the wildlife-rich areas of East Devon. While our days will be spent on the coast and the East Devon Pebbleheaths searching of birds and beautiful insects, our evenings will be centered around the River Otter as we attempt to find and observe its famous Beavers. Since their introduction sometime around 2008 from an unknown source, their numbers have slowly grown and, after a five-year trial monitoring their impact on the local landscape, on the 6th August 2020 the government officially granted permission for the re-established colony to remain; making it the first legally sanctioned reintroduction of an extinct native mammal to England. This has now become on the best places in the country to see Beavers and, with our local expertise, your chances of an encounter are incredibly high.
Given we will be dedicating our evenings to watching for Beavers, each morning will involve a leisurely breakfast followed by a half day at one of East Devon’s prime wildlife sites. We will return to the accommodation by early(ish) afternoon, giving you time to spend as you please and to grab something to eat, before heading back out early evening in search of Beavers and potentially other mammals including Otters which are regularly seen here.
Available: Jul- Sep
(please inquire to discuss specific dates)
Cost: £720 (from £120pp*)
Group size: 2-6*
* group size is decided by you at the point of booking with a minimum group size of 2 people. Each tour is charged at the same total cost as stated above i.e. for a group of 6 this equates to £120pp.
While the order we visit these sites may change (dependent on local conditions & wildlife) each tour will visit three main areas:
- East Devon Pebblebeds
- Jurassic Coast
- River Otter
Day One: Meeting you at your accommodation at 1pm, we will take the opportunity to go out birdwatching locally before heading to one of the many excellent local pubs for dinner and the chance to chat informally in a warm and welcoming atmosphere. From here we will then head out for our first evening on the River Otter to search for Beaver and hopefully spotting some of the other local residents including Kingfisher, Dipper and Otter.
Day Two: Our half day visit will be to the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths, the single biggest expanse of rare lowland heathland in Devon (over 1,400 hectares) and home to incredible wildlife including Nightjars, Dartford Warbler, Hobby and several rare dragonfly including Downy Emerald, Southern and Small Red Damselfly. It’s also home to a number of specialist butterflies including Silver-washed Fritillary, Grayling, Brown Argus and Silver-studded Blue as well as several good populations of the magical glow worm. Depending on the time of year, we will aim to find these species whilst enjoying other residents including Stonechat, Linnet, Siskin and Crossbill. After returning to your accommodation for rest and dinner, we will once again head to the River Otter in our attempts to see the Beavers.
Day Three: Our second half day visit will be a coastal walk along the western edge of the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning views across Lyme Bay. These cliffs are famed for their prehistoric and modern wildlife treasures including Rock Pipit, Shag, Fulmar, Kittiwake and Peregrine. It’s also a prime location to catch up with the county’s rarest and specialist bird, the Cirl Bunting, which occupies the adjacent farmland along with Skylarks, Linnets and Yellowhammers. It can also be a chance to catch up with one of our most coastal of butterflies, Wall Brown, which can be found here (mid-July/Aug only). After returning to the accommodation for rest and dinner, we will head to the River Otter for one final time to attempt to see the Beavers and any other missed local residents.
Once the evening session is complete, this will mark the end of the tour and it will be time for us to say our goodbyes, leaving with lots of amazing memories to share with friends and family.