FSC | Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council: Bringing Environmental Understanding to All

Habitats & Conservation

Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve covers an area of 214.7 hectares; the nature reserve supports a diverse range of habitats including the beach, shingle ridge, woodland and freshwater and surrounding vegetation. The principal habitats are more specifically described on the accompanying habitat map.

Strong storms erode shingle and create new areas for wildflowers to colonise. On the shingle ridge backslope we cut small areas of gorse to slow down the process of succession. We manage the beach to protect the shingle ridge and the road from storms.

We manage the woodland very lightly to encourage a natural process of growth and decay. A small area of coppice is managed as an educational demonstration.

The Ley receives a vast amount of water from the surrounding river catchments. We monitor water quality and are involved with various projects influencing the land management within the catchments.