Walk down to secluded cove is rich with wildlife and flowers

Joseph Bulmer

As the holiday hordes descend on the Bay’s main beaches, today’s walk leads to a secluded corner that few visitors will discover.

Churston Cove can be reached via the South West Coastal Path from Elberry Cove and Fishcombe Cove but for an interesting and, for the less mobile, easier option you will find a signposted entrance near Churston Court.

The well-maintained pathway, flanked by fields and offering glimpses of Churston Ferrers village, eventually branches off to The Grove and adjoining Churston and Marridge Woods and descends into a valley where, in 2017, many of the trees we found to be diseased and were ordered to be cut down.

However, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust, helped by an army of local volunteers, planted almost 5,000 new trees which are becoming established in a landscape full of shrubs and, particularly this month, rich in native wildflowers.

A network of paths lead off the main route and with more than 100 acres to explore you can explore woods that are awash with wildlife, from butterflies to horseshoe bats and many bird species.

Look out too for the numerous disused lime kilns where limestone from the quarries was burnt with coal in the kilns to produce quicklime, used in the production of whitewash and mortar for buildings and by farmers as a means of improving soil for agriculture.

The main path - about a mile-and-a-half from start to finish - will bring you to the peaceful shingle beach that is Churston Cove and, if you're really lucky, you might spot the local seal colony!

To your right it's a short walk to Fishcombe Cove and beyond that to Battery Gardens and Brixham Harbour.

A steep climb from the cove in the opposite direction will take you to Elberry Cove and Broadsands but on a fine day this is a an ideal spot to spend an hour or two before heading back to Churston Court for refreshment!

Best to pick a day when the ground is dry as the paths become muddy and slippery when wet.

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