Mansands Wetland Habitat

Every Mile Matters because the trail helps to create unique habitats for our wildlife

Storm damage, rain fall, increasingly high tides and surface water meant that the route of the South West Coast Path across the beach at Mansands was regularly too wet to cross. This meant a 1.5 mile detour for walkers. Increased rain fall and rising sea levels were also putting the unique wildlife habitat for birds behind the beach at threat by turning the area of fresh water wetland and reed beds into a salt marsh. A solution was needed that created a new route for the Path and ensured species like reed warblers, blue-winged teals, mallard, moorhen, water rail and heron continued to have a rich wetland habitat.   

What we did

The South West Coast Path Association worked in partnership with the National Trust to create a new alternative route for the South West Coast Path further up the valley with a screened causeway, bridge and path behind the existing wetland area.  As part of the project, a new area of standing water and reed beds, further from the beach and away from the threat of flooding from high tides, has also been created.

How it helped

Walkers now have a choice of route enabling access all year round. The project has also created a  new wildlife habitat of fresh water wetland benefiting  a wide range of flora and  fauna, especially birds. This protects the Path’s unique wildlife corridor from rising tides and storm damage and ensures that a range of birds continue to visit and breed here.  

Total project cost: £26,706

Association contribution: £550 for steps raised through Step Up Appeal

Partners: National Trust

Date completed: Spring 2020


This project was funded with support from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas. Thanks to supporters of the South West Coast Path Association, we have been able to allocate £100,000 to leverage in £750,000 worth of improvements across the Trail as part of the RDPE programme 2019 - 2020.


'Official' line of National Trail:

New alternative route:

Photos courtesy of National Trust