Slapton Sands

shingle barrier

Unsettled marine levels

Non-estuarine lower reaches of river valleys upstream from the South Devon coast.


  • Flat unsettled river valley, occasionally with sand or gravel bar at mouth
  • Marine influence on terrestrial habitats, such as reedbed and saltmarsh
  • Unsettled and unenclosed
  • Proximity of roads and settlements in adjoining areas reduces tranquillity
  • Traditional floodplain habitats of high biodiversity value
  • Open water
  • Strong sensory characteristics: colour and texture of habitats, smell of mudflats, sound of seagulls, sight of sunlight reflecting off sea
  • Extensive informal recreational use