North Devon Area

Taw Valley

Taw Valley

This is an intricate, complex and varied landscape within a dramatic valley, which contrasts with the surrounding open, elevated farmland.  Woodland and slopes combine with bends and spurs in the valley to hide views onward and create constant surprises. Tightly wooded sections unexpectedly open out to display wide vistas across the valley. Around Eggesford, the steep valley sides and mixture of broadleaved and coniferous woodland is evocative of continental Europe. Elsewhere, tranquil parkland gives the valley a soothing atmosphere.

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Map of DevonThis area comprises the main valley of the River Taw, plus its tributary valleys, including the River Bray, River Mole, Crooked Oak Stream, and Mully Brook. The area forms a rough ‘T’ Shape, surrounded by areas of higher land. The Codden Hill and Wooded Estates and the South Molton Farmland lie to the north, Witheridge and Rackenford Moor to the east and the High Culm Ridges to the west. To the south is the High Taw Farmland.


Constituent Landscape Character Types

Constituent LCTs:1F: Farmed Lowland Moorland and Culm Grassland, 3A: Upper Farmed and Wooded Valley Slopes, 3C: Sparsely Settled Farmed Valley Floors, 3G: River Valley Slopes and Combes, 3H: Secluded Valleys, 4A: Estuaries, 5A: Inland Elevated Undulating Land
Part of NCA:149: The Culm


Distinctive Characteristics



Special Qualities and Features:

Forces for Change and Their Landscape Implications:

Past and Current




Overall Strategy:

To protect the landscape’s scenic quality, peaceful character and strong sense of place through retention of its mosaic of parkland, woodland and farmland. Woodland and parkland trees are well-managed and replanted where necessary to ensure their continuation into the future. Agricultural land and associated hedgerows and hedgebanks are maintained. Semi-natural habitats such as wetlands and woodland are linked and enhanced to increase their resilience to climate change. Historic features such as bridges are repaired and maintained. Visually-intrusive new development within or visible from the valley is discouraged, particularly in areas which contribute to the setting of Exmoor National Park.