United Kingdom


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.

Adam Hall

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


Contact Information


Local Stewardship COuncil

Core Team:

Kevin ‘Cookie’ Cook
Adam Hall
Yvette Curtis
Ben Hewitt
Rob Whitney


Andrew Cotton

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

Stewardship plan

Conceptual Model 

Stewardship Plan


Download PDF (includes English and Portuguese) 

Global News: World Surfing Reserves

Visiones de éxito en Chile: los esfuerzos colaborativos apuntan a un futuro para una mayor protección de las olas en todo el país

El pasado mes de Septiembre, miembros del staff de Save The Waves visitaron la Reserva Mundial de Surf Punta de Lobos en Pichilemu, y el Santuario Marino Costero Piedra del Viento en Topocalma y Puertecillo, dos proyectos que han sido el parteaguas para la conservación de ecosistemas de surf en Chile, y que han sentado un precedente importante para otras regiones del mundo.

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