Please note that there are no dogs allowed, other than guide dogs.

Explore Seaton Wetlands and enjoy beautiful marshland and reedbeds alongside the River Axe. There are five bird hides and nearly 4km of level trails and boardwalks suitable for wheelchair, bike and pushchairs. A countryside haven, home to an abundance of wildlife.

Seaton Wetlands is made up of four main sites - Seaton Marshes, Black Hole Marsh, Colyford Common and Stafford Marsh.

See a map and more information for visitors on the digital version of the Seaton Wetlands leaflet. 

Directions to Seaton Wetlands

Seaton Wetlands is 6 miles west of Lyme Regis and 8 miles east of Sidmouth, between Colyford and Seaton. 

In the middle of Colyford village on the A3052 take the Seaton Road, signposted Axe Vale Static Caravan Park.

Main site: car park through Seaton Cemetery. At Colyford post office on the A3052, turn into Seaton Road, after half a mile turn left into Seaton Cemetery, continue through to the Seaton Wetlands car park. The nearest postcode is EX12 2SP.

Seaton Marshes

A freshwater grazing marsh, with scrapes, ditches, the Borrow Pit Pond and a bird hide.

The area attracts considerable wildlife interest, from wildfowl and wading birds in the winter to dragonflies and butterflies in the summer. Otters have been spotted at the Borrow Pit Pond! The site is managed by the Countryside team on behalf of Axe Vale and District Conservation Society.  

Seaton Marshes: car park at Hillymead. Continue past Seaton cemetery and take the left turn immediately after Seaton Football club into Hillymead. Either pass the Axe Vale Static Caravan Park entrance on your left and park in the spaces opposite the water treatment plant, or park on the roadside at Hillymead. The nearest postcode is EX12 2DF.

There is no path between Seaton Marshes and the main site; to travel between the two you will need to use the Seaton - Colyford Road (via car or foot) approximately 0.6miles.

Black Hole Marsh 

Panoramic 360 degree views over the intertidal lagoon and estuary. Look out for wading birds, ducks and kingfishers. Remember to wave to the tram as it passes!

Was bought in 2008 by the District Council and following planning approval, the Countryside team created a saline lagoon on what was previously a drained agricultural field, with little wildlife interest. Islands were created on a large shallow scrape and The Environment Agency worked with a local engineering company to devise an innovative self-regulating tidal exchange gate, allowing water of just the right salinity to enter the lagoon.

Within the first year, it attracted breeding oystercatchers and is now well populated with crustaceans and molluscs that support a wide range of wildfowl and waders. Birds to be seen regularly include dunlin, black tailed godwit and ringed plover.

Colyford Common

Walk to the peaceful bird hide and viewing platform and discover a circular route around the reedbeds.

Is regularly flooded by high tides, so this salt-marsh has very unusual flora and fauna, supporting many locally rare and nationally important species. Little egrets fish in the creeks and lagoons on the estuary and large black and white shelduck can be seen grazing here. Wheatears flit across the common, and there is evidence of water vole in the reedbed close to the village.

The Colyford Common bird hide offers fantastic views across the upper reaches of the estuary and surrounding saltmarsh. There is also a viewing platform further north which gives great views of waders such as curlew in winter.

Stafford Marsh

Explore the wildlife garden and enjoy a picnic in the heart of the wetlands. Find out more about the site, hire pond dipping equipment and grab a coffee in the Discovery Hut. Open Saturday to Monday, 10am to 4pm. Site toilets located here.

Discovery Hut

The Discovery Hut is staffed by volunteers Saturday to Monday, 10am to 4pm. When it hut is open you can find out more about the Wetlands, hire pond-dipping equipment and purchase drinks and snacks (ice creams, biscuits and cereal bars). Contact the Countryside team to check opening hours before your visit or to arrange additional opening for a group visit.

Reed Base

The Reed Base is a unique location for corporate events, classes and birthday parties. Seating space for up to 30, WiFi, projector and basic refreshment facilities available. Contact the team for rates and to arrange a visit.

The Lookout

An information hub on the main path as you enter the wetlands from the car park. This is often manned by a Countryside member of staff during the week. It is currently under development and will become a key source of information for your visit.

Local bird expert, Steve Waite kindly produces a monthly report of the sightings at Seaton Wetlands.

Disabled Access to Seaton Wetlands

The Seaton Wetlands off -road mobility scooter (Tramper) gives you the freedom to explore the site with your friends and family. The scooter must be booked in advance. Get in contact with the team to find out more.

short video shows what it's like to hire the off-road mobility scooter at Seaton Wetlands.

We also have a number of volunteers who have been trained to guide visitors with a visual impairment around the Wetlands.

Contact the Countryside team to plan your visit and discuss access requirements. 

Events at Seaton Wetlands

Exciting events are run throughout the year for all ages to enjoy. Discover new skills, help to protect wildlife and explore hidden places.

The Axe Estuary Ringing Group demonstrate bird ringing from the Discovery Hut - a great chance for the public to see wild birds up close. Check the Axe Estuary Ringing Group website for upcoming events and any cancellations due to weather conditions.

Volunteering at Seaton Wetlands

Take a look at our volunteering page to find out more about volunteering for the Countryside team.

Location

© Crown copyright and database rights 2017 100023746

Map legend

Reserve boundaries
Reserve boundaries
Public Bridleway
Public Bridleway
Byway
Byway
Public Footpath
Public Footpath
Permissive Footpath
Permissive Footpath
 Nature Reserve Car Parks
Nature Reserve Car Parks
Information
Information
Bird Hides
Bird Hides
Entrances
Entrances

Directions

Get directions to Seaton Wetlands nature reserve with Google Maps.

Parking

Car parking is available through Seaton Cemetery. Park here to access Black Hole Marsh, Colyford Common and Stafford Marsh. The nearest postcode is EX12 2SP.

A smaller parking area is available through Hillymead at the entrance to Seaton Marshes. The nearest postcode is EX12 2DF.

Best time to visit

You will see different birds during your visit depending on the time of year – check the white board at the Discovery Hut and Lookout to see what other visitors have already spotted.

Opening times

Seaton Wetlands is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is no charge to visit but donations for car parking, visiting and refreshments are welcomed.

Facilities

Car park, toilets (including disabled toilet and baby changing facilities), picnic area, 5 hides, 3 pond dipping platforms, Discovery hut, pond dipping equipment for hire and refreshments available at weekends, classroom available for hire, Education ranger services.

Access

  • Off-road mobility scooter (Tramper) for hire
  • The Discovery Hut Hide, Islands Hide and Colyford Common hide are wheelchair accessible.
  • Wheelchair accessible toilet

Walking information

Wheelchair and pushchair friendly paths. Cycling welcome on most of site.

Dogs

No dogs (except assistance dogs).