Pebblebed Heaths

About this route

The magnificent East Devon Pebblebed Heaths complex is the largest block of lowland heath in Devon. The site’s large area and its varied soils and structure result in it being very rich in wildlife. Both wet and dry areas of heath occur, together with small springs and flushes. As well as heather (ling) and its relatives, plants such as heath dog violet and heath spotted orchid can be found. Bog asphodel and the insectivorous sundew grow in the wetter areas. Of note among the bird life are strong populations of the Dartford warbler and, in summer, the nightjar. The heaths are also important for their dragonflies, including the rare southern damselfly, and butterflies such as the silver-studded blue.

Getting Around

The Pebblebed Heaths are spread over a wide area and it is recommended you visit the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trusts website: for further information on how best to get to the area you wish to visit.

Travel Devon

Often rough ground with limited trails or paths.

Interesting information

The Pebblebed Heaths are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protected Area (SPA) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

Photo of a heath spotted orchid
Heath spotted orchid Copyright Natural England - Peter Roworth

You can explore more in this area

Photo of a stream through fields on the East Devon Way

East Devon Way

This 38 mile/60km path takes you from Exmouth in the west to Lyme Regis, Dorset in the east, and follows
Photo of a horse rider on a trail through woodlands at East Budleigh Common

An Uncommonly Fine Walk

The East Devon Commons cover an area of heathland east of Exeter and inland of the coast.  Extremely important as
Photo of mist over heathland

Heath and valley

This walk is based around Newton Poppleford and uses minor lanes and old tracks to the west of the village,