Labrador Bay Reserve
OS Map ref: SX931 705
(Royal Society for the Protection of Birds)
“A million voices for nature”
We are delighted to welcome the RSPB to Shaldon-Devon Tourism. Shaldon and surrounding area is blessed with abundant wildlife and birdlife and the RSPB has a very strong presence in the area with numerous reserves and a local RSPB group. Shaldon Tourism Centre has a comprehensive display of RSPB leaflets, guides and details of local events.
The Labrador Bay Reserve is located off the Torquay Road, 1 mile from Shaldon towards Maidencombe. The reserve is open at all times and entry is free. There is a local council pay and display car park (usually with ice cream van!).
The RSPB bought this nature reserve especially to help the rare cirl buntings. The word “cirl” is derived from the Italian word for chirping.
With wonderful sea views, this reserve is primarily there for the rare Cirl Bunting, which is an RSPB success story. Down to 80 breeding pairs in the country in 1980, (all on the South West coast), there are now 900 breeding pairs and it is usually possible to spot one or two in the hedges adjoining the car park.
Cattle and Dartmoor ponies are used to graze the reserve and create a good habitat for grasshoppers – the favourite food for cirl buntings to feed their growing chicks.
Some of the tracks lead steeply down to the South Devon Coast Path but the upper fields can be explored without having to endure the steep climb back. Skylarks, Linnets and Yellowhammers are also resident.
Other reserves well worth a visit throughout the year are the RSPB reserves at Exminster Marshes and, on the other side of the River Exe at Topsham, Bowling Green Marsh plus the Teignbridge District Council NNR and Devon Wildlife Trust reserve at Dawlish Warren.
The RSPB also run a series of river boat trips on the Exe throughout the winter/spring months to see all the thousands of migrating waders which include the beautiful Avocets.
RSPB Local Groups
RSPB local groups are a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people in your area, while learning more about birds and wildlife.
Run by volunteers, you can be as involved as you like with your local group. Whether you just take part in the extensive events program that each group organises, or get more involved with the everyday running of the group organising talks, walks, fundraising, or looking after the group’s finances, you will be helping make a real difference to conservation in the UK.
Torbay And South Devon Team
The Torbay and South Devon Team is a group of volunteers who are passionate about wildlife and supporting the work of the RSPB. They attend local shows, fetes, garden centres and organise bird watching walks and events to promote the RSPB and enthuse others about the wonders of wildlife.
Rather than meeting in one place, they run events & walks throughout Torbay & South Devon.
If you would like to join the RSPB please visit www.rspb.org.uk