Boats on the Yealm

Yealm Estuary

The river

The River Yealm rises 430 metres above sea level on the Stall Moor mires of south Dartmoor and makes its 15 mile journey to the sea passing through Cornwood, Lee Mill and Yealmpton before reaching the estuary mouth just below Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo.

The estuary

The estuary of the Yealm is tidal up as far as Puslinch, 4 miles inland. Like the other estuaries of South Devon the original deep river valley has been inundated by later sea level rise, with the tide flooding in to create a wide expanse of water.

Designations

In addition to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) designation, the estuary is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a European Special Area of Conservation, and lies within the South Devon Heritage Coast.

Blue carbon

Our coast and estuaries play an important role in the binding of the world's biological carbon (or green carbon), with more than half being captured by marine living organisms (hence it is called blue carbon). With such an important carbon fixing resource on our doorstep, it is important that we restore and maintain healthy marine ecosystems.

For further details please read the full blue carbon report.

Getting around

  • On foot: although there are footpaths in the area, there is no trail around the estuary as most of the land is private estate.
  • River cruiser: there are no river cruiser services.
  • Ferry crossings: there is a seasonal passenger ferry service operating a summer only crossing between Newton Ferrers, Noss Mayo and Warren Point (for the coast path to Wembury).

Estuary conservation and management

The care and management of the Yealm Estuary is co-ordinated through the Yealm Estuary Management Group (YEMG).

YEMG is supported by the South Devon AONB Estuaries Officer, Nigel Mortimer. View contact details.

The first Yealm Estuary Management Plan was published in 1998. This has since been reviewed and replaced with a plan covering the 2007-2012 period, which itself is now under review. For more information on these plans see the links on the right of this page.