The award winning Cockington Country Park is the green lung that separates Torquay and Paignton with 450 acres of parkland, woodland and ornamental gardens. The estate dates back to the Domesday Book and features a wealth of heritage and history to explore including the picture postcard village itself and Cockington Court Craft Studios where you can watch a range of craftsmen at work and purchase hand-crafted products direct from the maker. Within the grounds of the park you will also find a disabled-friendly children's play area, lakes, watermeadows, woodland, farmland and a network of walking and cycling paths. Visit the Cockington Park website here.
Occombe is our working organic farm on the edge of Paignton. Here you will find an award-winning farm shop and cafe featuring the best of local food, together with a traditional butchery, education centre, 2km easy-access nature trail and children's play area. Get close to wildlife in the bird hide, take part in a letterboxing trail around the farm or enjoy home-cooked dishes in the Bakehouse. Occombe is open to the public all year round, parking and entry are free. Visit the Occombe Farm website here.
Berry Head is a National Nature Reserve, home to the rare Greater Horseshoe bats, the UK's most southerly Guillemot colony, and a variety of rare or threatened flora and fauna. The headland which juts out in to the sea in front of Brixham offers magnificent views across Torbay and features some of the UK's best-preserved Napoleonic Fortifications. You will find a Visitor Centre and Cafe in the newly restored Guardhouse. Visit the Berry Head website here.
The Trust cares for Ansteys Cove and nearby Redgate Beach which connect Walls Hill to Hope’s Nose. Unfortunately, Redgate Beach is currently closed to the public because of the risk of rock-fall from the cliffs behind. Ansteys Cove is accessible with a car park above and steps down to a platform and rocky beach. There is a seasonal beach café on the promenade.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel once planned to retire to Watcombe, Torquay and he commissioned the design of a garden and house overlooking St Marychurch. The garden was created but sadly Brunel died before the house was built. The garden has become woodland but many of the species and features of Brunel's time survive. The wood was badly damaged in the 1990 storm and a commemorative sculpture was carved out of one of the Giant Redwoods that fell - and this sculpture is an imposing feature. There is a network of paths to follow and great views over the Bay.
The Trust manages the cliffs below Daddyhole Plain and the steep ground South towards Torquay Harbour, known as Rock End Walk. This area was once laid out as gardens and a pleasure walk in Victorian times but since then it has been declared Site of Special Scientific interest and County Wildlife Site - this means it is left a little more wild nowadays. At Peak Tor Cove there is a Second World War look out post.
This coastal farm occupies an important green belt area at Broadsands. Once threatened with development it has now been passed to the Trust by Torbay Council for safe keeping. We have a tenant running the farm and aim to work closely with him to generate environmental opportunities. Elberry Cove is shingle and clear water in a peaceful setting, marred only by the fact that it is an approved water-ski site. The Cove is also important for its eelgrass beds, as breeding grounds for young fish and native seahorses. Next to the cove are the ruins of the Elberry Bath House where Lord Churston used to take a cold dip after sweating it out in a hot tub!
Running along the coast from Elberry Cove to Brixham, these woods are quite extensive and in need of a lot of care and attention. They include ruined limekilns, overgrown forestry tracks and another delightful shingle cove at Churston with good bathing; unfortunately the back of the beach fills up with sea-born rubbish and needs frequent cleaning. In winter 2004-05 we felled some timber in The Grove for the first time in a decade and this proved quite popular and has continued since then, which will improve their wildlife value.
Hope's Nose is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, mainly for its geology, which makes it an important site for the English Riviera Geopark. It offers good views over the Bay and the nearby Orestone and Thatcher Rock.
This tiny 1-acre wood lies next to Torbay Hospital and the Trust has leased the site for 5 years from January 2003 to open it up to the public and improve its condition for people and wildlife. The local community is encouraged to take part in planning the work.
Maidencombe Farm is a stronghold for the rare Cirl Bunting. It also has a network of footpaths, outstanding scenery and dramatic cliffs. The Trust manages the farm which is now fully organic. The Trust is also responsible for the village green, car park and beach café which are currently leased to the Thatched Tavern.
Another Cirl Bunting site, this small area of farmland is managed by a tenant farmer. There is no public access to this land.
This small coastal park is bordered by sandstone cliffs which are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. In response to fears about the future of the headland the Trust took on its management together with the Pitch and Putt course which is leased to a tenant.
Saltern Cove is Britain's only designated underwater Local Nature Reserve - an important geological SSSI with high quality marine life too. The Trust carries out educational visits, events and walks at the site.
Managed as part of Berry Head NNR, this site has a car park, footpaths and horse-riding route. It was grazed with Shetland ponies for the first time in 2005.
The South West Coast Path is over 600 miles long and is England's longest long-distance trail, stretching from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset. The Trust is responsible for the cutting and maintenance of the SWCP throughout Torbay.
Occombe, Scadson and Cockington Valley Woods include areas of Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland and many interesting historical features as well as good quality habitats. They were designated Local Nature Reserves in 2004. The woodlands connect Occombe Farm and Cockington offering walking and cycling routes.
A SSSI (for its geology and flora) and Ancient Monument (for its Bronze-Age field system) this site is under great pressure, from dog-walkers in particular. However the steep cliffs have great value and we are working on a programme of scrub clearance. The site includes extensive woodlands at Bishop's Walk.
Located off the Old Totnes Road, between Occombe and Cockington, Warren Barn was renovated to provide a residential camping barn in 2007. The barn sleeps approx 36 people in two dormitories and has basic facilities. Educational visits at Warren Barn are delivered by the Trust’s education team and the barn is also available for outside lets. Visit the website here.