Northam Burrows SSSI is found directly opposite Braunton Burrows, but has a very different character to its neighbour across the estuary. Stable ‘fixed-dune’ grassland covers much of the site, with a narrow fringe of more mobile dune along the sea front and saltmarsh in the estuary.
The dominant feature, the ridge of cobbles along the seafront, is quite unique in the UK. Despite the size and apparent solidity of the ridge, it is amazingly mobile and, until recently, was not even part of the sea front, but was a ridge within the sand dune system. The dynamics of the ridge itself and the sediment in Bideford Bay as a whole are just beginning to be teased out through careful study.