Bowling Green Marsh and Goosemoor

Habitat Bowling Green Marsh allows over-wintering birds a choice of safe roosting sites as the rising tide pushes them off the mudflats.  It’s the main high tide roost for the north of the estuary.  You can see large numbers of water birds at very close range in winter – hundreds of black-tailed godwits and widgeons feed close to the hide.  Throughout the year, the open water attracts many different species of wetland birds; little grebes, mute swans, and a variety of ducks breed here.
Postcode for main car park SX971875,  EX3 0QH  –  Parking at Dart Farm: Dart Farm Village, Topsham, Clyst St George, Exeter EX3 0QH
Toilets Toilets at the retail outlet where there is also an RSPB shop.
Directions On the eastern side of the Exe Estuary, 5 miles (8 km) south of Exeter and 6.5 miles (10.8 km) north of Exmouth.  Bowling Green Hide is on Bowling Green Road, Topsham.  No verge side parking.  Please use Topsham’s Holman Way or The Quay car parks.  From Holman Way car park turn left and walk via Monmouth Avenue and Monmouth Street (RSPB sign) to Bowling Green Road (12-minute walk along delightful country lanes).  From Topsham Quay car park, walk along the Strand, then the Goatwalk, which leads into Bowling Green Road (15-minute walk with stunning estuary views).
Accessibility
Open at all times.  Viewing points: 
  • A hide which is designed to be accessible to wheelchairs.  Blue Badge bay immediately outside.  Bench seats.  Information on ‘what’s about’ on reserve.
  • Estuary viewing platform accessed by shallow steps only.  No seating.  130 m access path surfaced with compacted stone.
Dogs:  Registered Assistance and other dogs welcome at all times.

Conservation

Bowling Green Marsh is one of the main critical high tide roosts for the Exe Estuary.  This provides the birds that use the estuary a safe place to rest up and feed when the tide is at its highest, and all the mudflats that they feed on are covered. 

The RSPB keep the site in good condition by grazing the site and helping to prevent the course grasses and rushes from dominating.  We also carry out occasional land forming work to make the site better for the hundreds of birds that regularly use it.

Site information

RSPB Bowling Green

RSPB Bowling Green

Bowling Green Marsh is on the east bank of the Exe Estuary, within easy walking distance of both Topsham High Street and our shop at Darts Farm.  As a great place for wildlife, it is recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), as well as a Natura 2000 and Ramsar site.  The Exeter City Council lease of this land to the RSPB makes this nature reserve possible.

RSPB Goosemoor nature reserve is on east of Bowling Green Marsh with the railway line separating the two.  Access is gained by passing under the railway bridge and visitors can enjoy views of the reserve by walking or cycling toward Darts Farm along the elevated track.  This track is fenced to minimise disturbance but there are a number of viewpoints from which visitors can see a variety of wetland birds such as black-tailed godwits, redshanks and little egrets.

Darts Farm also has its own nature reserve with a hide.  Darts Farm is home to a large variety of wildlife.  These include flocks of linnets, fieldfares, and redwings during the winter; dragonflies, skylarks, and kingfishers in summer.  There’s also a popular shop and tearoom here, part of a larger shopping complex. 

U3A group trips and sightings

We  have visited Bowling Green on the following dates:

November 30th 2018. Click here for a list of species sighted on the day. 

October 25th 2019.  Click here for a list of species sighted on the day. 

Contact

Address: Bowling Green Rd, Topsham, Exeter EX3 0BG.    email: exe.estuary@rspb.org.uk    Tel.: 01392 824614  or  01392 833311

Link

RSPB Bowling Green and Goosemoor