The North Devon Surfing Reserve covers a world-class surf zone encompassing approximately 30 km of coastline. It contains a high density of outstanding surfing destinations, including iconic breaks such as Croyde, Saunton, Woolacombe and Lynmouth, among others.
Our core focus is looking after the quality of the waves themselves and preserving the ecosystems that produce them. Surf spots need to be celebrated, recognised and protected in the same way we protect and recognise beautiful national parks like Exmoor.
Local surfer and Co-founder of the Surfing Reserve in North Devon
Why North Devon?
Whilst the UK has a history of protecting national parks and green areas, there is very little formal and active protection of the surf zone, the surfing experience and the fragile environment that creates the different types of unique waves in an area.
Establishing a recognised Surfing Reserve will give the surfing community and others a voice in decision-making processes that affect the coastline and some of the best beaches in the United Kingdom. The aim of the reserve is to make sure they stay the best – for everyone from beginners to expert surfers.
A study in 2008 found that surfing was estimated to bring in more than £50 million to the area every year and supports around 1500 jobs. Yet surfing has a value far deeper to everyone who lives for riding its prefect waves. For many people in North Devon life revolves around the weather, tides, wind and favourite beaches to surf.
Whether you are a surfer or a wild swimmer, surf life saver, stand up paddle boarder or just enjoying a walk along the wild coastal path; this beautiful, raw and rugged coastline intertwined with world-class surfing and waves has something for everyone.
Attributes of a World Surfing Reserve
The North Devon Surf Coast is blessed with a huge variety of surf breaks that respond to different swell and wind directions. The World Surfing Reserve covers a world-class surf zone stretching across approximately 30 km of coastline with high density of outstanding surf, including iconic breaks such as Croyde, Saunton, Woolacombe, and Lynmouth.
The variety of waves is particularly unique, rated from “beginner” to “expert”, catering to wave-riders of all tastes and styles. It is one of the most consistent surfing areas in the UK where year-round swells batter a mixture of small, rocky bays and long, sandy beaches. A system of coastal paths runs the entire length of the Surfing Reserve, offering extensive views of the beaches, reefs, and points.
Local Stewardship COuncil
Environment Agency, National Trust, Surfers Against Sewage, Blue Marine Foundation
Exmoor National Park, North Devon Coast: Area of Outstanding Beauty, North Devon’s Biosphere Reserve, Plastic Free North Devon, Pickwell Foundation, Devon Local Nature Partnership, Exmoor National Park
Surfing England, RNLI, Museum of British Surfing, Surfdome, The Wave Project, Surf Life Saving GB
Croyde Surf Club, Wave Wahines, Hotdoggers Surf Club, North Devon Schools Surfing, Woolacombe Boardriders Surf Club, Woolacombe SLSC, The Point Magazine
University of Plymouth, The Ilfracombe Academy
Mortehoe Parish Council, Georgeham and Croyde Parish Council, Lynton and Lynmouth Parish Council, North Devon Council, Braunton Parish Council
Visit Devon, Visit North Devon and Exmoor, Croyde Beach / Ruda, Putsborough Beach, Downend Car Park / Croyde, Saunton Beach and Villas, Woolacombe Beach / Parkin Estates
Download PDF (includes English and Portuguese)
Global News: World Surfing Reserves
Since the announcement of North Devon U.K. as the next World Surfing Reserve in April of 2022, the Local Stewardship Council has been hard at work developing its unique stewardship plan, responding to urgent threats to the surf ecosystem, hosting events, and preparing for their dedication in 2023. Building a Strong Team A key element
For the third consecutive year, Cowell Beach is not included on Heal the Bay’s “Beach Bummer” list.
“Our community is as strong as our wave.” How do you preserve one the of premiere Costa Rican surf breaks and its local wildlife?
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