Horsey Island (Braunton Fields)

Year Implemented


Project Type

Unmanaged realignment


United Kingdom


Taw Torridge Estuary





Habitat(s) Created
  • Mudflat

  • Saltmarsh

  • Transitional Grassland


87 Hectares

Why Undertaken
  • Create a More Natural Shoreline

Project Description Summary

During 2016 a patch of sea wall at the north east corner of 'Horsey Island' started to erode on its seaward side. This was evidently triggered by a failed drainage sluice gate. T

owards the end of 2017 and into early 2018 the sea wall either side of this damaged sluice then rapidly deteriorated until it became an enlarged and open seawall breach. The old sluice structure then became fully exposed.

This erosion evidently occurred due to to a combination of high flows speeds through the broken sluice gate, complex flow patterns on the estuary (Caen River) side and, once the island had become flooded, from wave attack on the inside of the sea wall.

Tidal waters covered the low-lying northern side of the island which followed the old river course. Attempts were made to restore and re-build the sea wall but these were unsuccessful.

Devon Wildlife Trust later purchased the land with a view to managing and enhancing the site as a haven for wildlife.

Documents/References uploaded

ABPmer logo

A free resource maintained by ABPmer

Contact us

Quayside Suite
Medina Chambers
Town Quay
SO14 2AQ

E-zine sign-up