The ACA Forum

Conserving the Devonshire Avon from source to sea


The Avon (Aune) Estuary is a priceless environmental asset. It is a County Wildlife Site and Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) with its shallow waters, extensive mudflats, and saltmarshes. All of these features are of exceptional ecological value to important populations of fish, invertebrates, migratory birds and waterfowl.

It is vital these habitats remain undisturbed. Historically, the Avon Estuary has always been highly valued as a place for quiet contemplation and reflection on natural beauty. All users of the estuary are asked to respect these values: in these difficult COVID times, they are more priceless than ever because the popularity of 1) walking around the estuary, 2) outdoor swimming, and 3) SUPs, canoes and kayaks has exploded.

A map of the estuary showing important markers for water skiing area and speed restriction buoys:-


Human safety and environmental biosecurity are vitally important.   Some tips for visitors  are provided here. These tips are outlined separately in the codes below but they share several general messages. The first of which is the need for biosecurity, a universal policy throughout the South Devon AONB.


  • The entire area below Mean High water is owned and administered by the Duchy of Cornwall.  Much of the area is licensed for various purposes to the Bantham Estate.
  • Always be aware of the state of the tide.  Water levels can change very quickly as the tide rises.
  • Be considerate to landowners and properties that border the water. Most of the estuary runs through PRIVATE land; you could be trespassing when walking or mooring.
  • Park sensitively wherever you go: do not block roads, do not block gates to fields or access to houses.   Remember, large emergency vehicles may need access.
  • Do not park along the Tidal Road – vehicles are sometimes submerged!
  • Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home

Specific TIPS are suggested on the following pages accessible via the MENU >TIPS FOR VISITORS