Northam Burrows Country Park and Burrows Centre
The Northern Burrows is a scientifically important area which juts out into the mouth of the estuary. It is a site of special scientific interest with a range of habitats including sand dunes, salt marsh, grassland and rocky shore. It's no surprise to find the area is alive with wildlife - from the smallest plant and insect, to vivid lichen and birdlife. At the northern end of Westward Ho! beach (also known as Sandymere), you'll find the Northam Burrows Centre which is open to the public during the summer season. The centre provides a main source of information about the Burrows and runs family activities and events during the summer months.
The centre offers toilet facilities, a small souvenir shop, information and Ranger services.
There are three main entry points onto the Burrows; Sandymere Road via Northam Square, Pebbleridge Road via Westward Ho! and the Tip Road via Burrows Lane on the Appledore Road (turn on labels on the interactive map and zoom in on Northam Burrows to see where).
Vehicles are charged a toll upon entry.
Landscape and nature
Northam Burrows SSSI is found directly opposite Braunton Burrows, but has a very different character to it's 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 within 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 in fact 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 within Bideford Bay as a whole are just beginning to be teased out through careful study.
For more information about the Northern Burrows visit their webpages via the link above or additional links section on the right of this page.