Discover Nature & Wildlife on The Dart

The Dart estuary, the tidal stretch of the magnificent River Dart between Totnes and Dartmouth, is a haven for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. This vital waterway is not only a playground for commercial and leisure users but also a lifeline for the surrounding communities that thrive on its rich and glorious scenery, tranquility, and diverse wildlife.

Dart Harbour plays a crucial role in the long-term stewardship of the estuary, championing the conservation of its unique ecosystem. The Upper Dart Estuary, celebrated for its special nature, is designated as a Marine Conservation Zone. This recognition emphasizes the need for conservation efforts, with Dart Harbour leading initiatives to ensure the care and protection of this precious environment.

Preserving the estuary’s ecological balance involves active participation from those who enjoy its waters. Dart Harbour encourages minimizing wash and wake to preserve the water’s serenity and cleanliness. Attention to biosecurity measures and the prevention of the discharge of untreated sewage and oily bilge water are vital to limit the impact on water quality.

The South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Estuaries Partnership, of which Dart Harbour is a member, actively promotes the balanced conservation management of estuaries. Their Estuaries Management Plan provides guidance for collective actions, emphasizing the responsibility of all, no matter how small, in ensuring the well-being of this natural haven.

Visitors and locals alike are invited to join Dart Harbour in taking pride in the care of the Dart estuary. By adhering to conservation guidelines, such as those outlined in the Estuaries Management Plan, everyone can contribute to the preservation of this invaluable natural resource, fostering a harmonious relationship between humans and the diverse ecosystems that call the River Dart home.

For more information, visit: or contact the South Devon AONB Estuaries Officer,  phone 01803 229335 or email