Wildlife

The Dartmoor Pony is an endangered species © Kit Heighway

The Dartmoor Pony is an endangered species

Dartmoor ponies

One of the icons of Dartmoor, the Dartmoor pony can be found grazing on the cliffs of Wembury. These pure-bred ponies are now an endangered species. Originally bred as a working animal to aid in the booming tin industry, they are recognisable for their high levels of strength, short legs, kindly eyes and alert ears. Please do not feed the ponies as the diet and health of these animals is crucial to their survival.

Reptiles and insects

The Marbled white butterfly at Wembury

The Marbled white butterfly at Wembury

The newly created coastal grasslands are home to a range of wildlife including the common lizard; the grasshopper; the great, green, bush cricket; marbled white, grayling and dark green fritillary butterflies; and the globally rare Cathormiocerus arraphilus weevil.

The nationally rare tortoise beetles, weevils, mining and nomad bees have also been sighted. Look carefully and you may spot the nest mounds of yellow meadow ants, food for the green woodpecker. Be wary of basking adders found at Wembury Point.

Habitats and plants

Wembury is home to a vast array of rare plants and that provide habitats for insects, birds and other animals.

Bird watching

Wembury is home to a vast array of birdlife including some of the rarest and most threatened species in the UK. With so much to see it is a unique and unmissable experience for all bird watchers.

Marine life

Basking sharks can be spotted at Wembury

Basking sharks can be spotted at Wembury

Wembury is home to a fantastic array of marine life just waiting to be discovered by the adventurous or those with sharp eyes.

Keep a look out for basking sharks, porpoises and dolphins, all of which have all been seen swimming in Wembury Bay. On the nearby Netton Island, seals can be seen basking.

There is plenty for divers and snorkelers to see below the waves including Thornback rays, angler fish and squid, whilst the reefs contain sea sponges and sea fans. In the nearby river Yealm, Pacific oysters can be found, a symptom of climate change and warmer seas.

Marine life can also be found much closer to hand. The rock pools on Wembury Beach are some of the best in the country and are teeming with life. See if you can find limpets, sea anemones, crabs and starfish.

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