Nature reserves

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7. Jetty Marsh Local Nature Reserve

Jetty Marsh is part of the River Teign floodplain and is an intimate mixture of reedbeds, grassland, scrub and tidal waters fringed by mudflats. The site is important for its wildlife, such as reed warbler and Cetti's warbler, and is designated as a County Wildlife Site.

Facilities

  • public transport nearby
  • access for wheelchairs, electric scooters and baby buggies
  • dog bins
  • bench seats
  • site information boards

Location and access

Both parts of the Nature Reserve are within easy walking distance of Newton Abbot centre and can be reached from Newton Quay via the Templer Way which links the two parts of the reserve. There are also entrances from Wharf Road and from the middle roundabout on Jetty Marsh Road.

There is no car park serving the site, but there is a bus stop immediately adjacent to the main Jetty Marsh site entrance on Kingsteignton Road - just tens of metres from the B&Q roundabout. The Templer Way footpath continues upstream from Jetty Marsh through West Golds to the Teign Bridge. Downstream of Wharf Road, it follows the southern estuary bank and foreshore.

Much of Jetty Marsh is level and the paths are well surfaced, so the site is suitable for most wheelchairs, electric scooters and baby buggies.

Historic interest

Jetty Marsh contains a disused canal basin where the old Stover Canal met the Whitelake Channel. Granite and ball clay were taken down the canal, the Whitelake and then the Teign in barges, before being shipped out from Teignmouth docks. The Templer Way, a footpath following this old shipping route, runs through Jetty Marsh and the nearby Wharf Road Sidings.

Wharf Road Sidings, a separate part of this LNR, is squeezed in between the confluences of the Whitelake Channel and the River Lemon with the Teign. As the name suggests, Wharf Road Sidings also has its local history interest. The wharfs and railway sidings serving Newton Abbot market and the old power station were located here. The site of this industrial past now provides a haven for wildlife and quiet enjoyment.

Recreation

The site is used for quiet informal recreation such as walking, dog walking, and watching wildlife. Jetty Marsh is an important local public open space and is also a route to the River Teign and Templer Way walks. Several local schools use the area for educational purposes. The Rangers lead visits and also provide Guided Walks and Events for local societies and the public.

Management

Management of the site is assisted under the Government's Countryside Stewardship Scheme. One of the main threats to heathland wildlife is invasion and shading by trees, which overshadow the heather and gorse, eventually killing them. Other threats include damage from unauthorised vehicle access, raves and tipping and accidental or malicious fire.

Assisted by funding under the Government's national Countryside Stewardship Scheme, the Council's Countryside Ranger Service have progressively felled trees in the denser stands and controlled seedlings to create a more sustainable mix. They have installed vehicle barriers and informative signs and have created and maintained firebreaks as a degree of protection against the spread of fires. Other elements of management have included some rotational management of the heathland areas, and control of birch encroachment. Future management will include ongoing control of seedlings and adjustment of firebreak lines for habitat and landscape reasons.