South Milton Ley Reserve is a 16 hectare wildlife refuge that was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1984. It includes Devon’s second largest reedbed and together with the South Huish Meadowlands in the adjacent valley and nearby coast is visited by up to 200 bird species in a typical year.
Devon Birds acquired the core reedbed in 1976 and has added to the original landholding in stages to form buffer zones. Active management of the Reserve by Devon Birds has increased the reedbed by two hectares and extensive planting in the buffer zones has provided shelter and food for the birds.
The water level in the Reserve depends on the height of the sandbank at the mouth of the Ley. Wave action can build up the sandbank and flood the Reserve for up to half-a-mile inland for weeks at a time. The floods usually occur in winter and subside when a storm breaches the sandbank.
Access to the Reserve is restricted to Devon Birds members.
Devon Birds sightings