Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs NNR is one of the largest and most important active coastal landslip systems in Western Europe.
County: Devon and Dorset
Main habitats: Woodland, lowland grassland, rocky shore, cliffs
Why visit: The Undercliffs NNR stretches almost 7 miles in length between Axmouth in the west and Lyme Regis in the east and can be accessed via the South West Coast Path National Trail which runs through the entire length of the reserve. The NNR is one of the largest active coastal landslide systems in Western Europe.
Lying at the heart of the ‘Jurassic Coast’ World Heritage Site it has been described as one of the finest wilderness areas in Great Britain. The reserve has excellent geological exposures from the Triassic, Cretaceous and Jurassic eras and is internationally famous for fossils. The site is also a Special Area for Conservation and has superb areas of natural ash woodland.
Star species: Past and present earth movements known as landslips have produced a spectacular wilderness that is now predominantly woodland.
Landslips can occur at any time on the reserve and this creates temporary open ground habitat which is colonised by grassland and scrub before finally becoming woodland over time. This cyclical and active process creates a diverse mix of habitats which are home to many different plants and animals.
Much of the woodland is of a completely natural structure and where non-native species are absent this represents some of the finest undisturbed ash woodland in the country.
Access: The NNR can be accessed on foot via the South West Coast Path National Trail from either Axmouth or Lyme Regis.
A walk through the whole reserve is physically demanding due to the difficult terrain. Visitors who prefer a shorter walk are advised to follow the trail from Lyme Regis to Pinhay Cliffs (a distance of 1.5 km) and back again.
Contact site staff on tel: 07899 731404
Other NNRs in the area