Mid Devon Area

Exe Valley

The River Exe

The River Exe meanders through a deep and dramatic wooded valley lined with lush oak woodlands displaying changing seasonal colours. Its side valleys are particularly quiet and secretive, with a very strong sense of enclosure. The historic town of Tiverton sits on the banks of the river, its red sandstone churches, castle, bridges, school and impressive early19th century textile mill dominant in the scene. South of Tiverton, the Exe valley landscape opens out into a patchwork of fields, woodlands and copses with a much gentler character.

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Exe ValleyThis area runs north-south and contains the middle reaches of the River Exe, extending westward to include the lower parts of two of its tributaries. To the west is the higher land of the Cruwys Morchard Wooded and Farmed Valleys; and to the east the higher land of the Bampton and Beer Downs and the Cullompton Rolling Farmland. To the south is a more gradual transition from the wider Exe Valley floor into the Yeo, Culm and Exe Lowlands. To the north is the county boundary with Somerset, although the character of the Exe Valley continues beyond it.


Constituent Landscape Character Types

Constituent LCTs:1E: Wooded Ridges and Hilltops, 3A: Upper Farmed and Wooded Valley Slopes, 3C: Sparsely Settled Farmed Valley Floors, 3G: River Valley Slopes and Combes, 3H: Secluded Valleys, 7: Main Cities and Towns
Part of NCA:148: Devon Redlands


Distinctive Characteristics



Special Qualities and Features:

Forces for Change and Their Landscape Implications:

Past and Current




Overall Strategy:

To protect the landscape’s high scenic quality and strong sense of place within the southern setting of Exmoor National Park. The distinctive qualities of the River Exe and its steep wooded valleys are protected and enhanced. The area’s important industrial archaeology and defensive structures are protected and appropriately managed. Sustainable levels of recreation are encouraged, achieving a balance between recreation and conservation interests. Farmland is well managed, and its biodiversity increased.