Newton Poppleford, Sidmouth and Fire Beacon Hill

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East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Newton Poppleford, Sidmouth and Fire Beacon Hill is a 10.2 mile loop trail located near Sidmouth, Devon, England that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, running, and bird watching.

Length10.2 miElevation gain1,955 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingWalkingBird watchingrunningBeachForestPartially pavedRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeHistoric sitepub-walk
Description
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Fire Beacon Hill is a local nature reserve and a lowland heath with a sensational panoramic view of the surrounding countryside and coast. This site had one of the beacons used to inform Elizabethan London of potential approaching Spanish Armada. At that time the entire East Hill escarpment would have been covered in lowland heath vegetation, similar to what is still found here. Unfortunately, forestry plantation and agricultural expansion has resulted in most of the heath disappearing, making this habitat increasingly uncommon. This area is fantastic for bird watching with Yellowhammers breeding on the local nature reserve, as does the rare Dartford Warbler. Look out for them skulking amongst the low growing bushes. A good tip to help spot ‘Dartfords’ is to look out for the more conspicuous Stonechat birds, who sit in plain view on trees and shrubs and make a distinctive call, similar to two stones being hit together. Once located, look in the bushes beneath the Stonechat and you may see a Dartford Warbler, using the Stonechat above as a sentry keeping watch. As well as birds, other wildlife in this area include Grayling Butterflies which breed on the nature reserve and are often disturbed into flight while sunbathing on the paths. Lastly, a few Exmoor ponies and Belted Galloway cattle are grazed in a fenced area of the site as part of the management plan.

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Reviews (4)
Photos (89)
Recordings (4)
Completed (7)
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Emilee Tombs
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Hiking
First to Review

Loved this trail even in the mist. Would be amazing views the whole way if it wasn’t for the cloud cover though this didn’t affect enjoyment

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Esme Holcomb
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Hiking
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Steven Heggie
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Hiking
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Valdis Baranovs
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Hiking
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