Marching Through Marshes: Topsham and Exminster


At the union of the River Exe and the River Clist, the Bowling Green Marsh in Topsham is a nature reserve managed by the RSPB, or the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. On any given day, one can find avid bird watchers seeking the peace of the marsh and the call of the bird.



Near the Bowling Green Marsh there are some lovely views of the River Exe. Here, you can see the river at high tide, flowing fast and cold out to the sea. At high tide, the river can get up to four meters high.



Seen here at high tide, the waters of the Exe Estuary lap peacefully against the stones of the Goat Walk in Topsham. In warmer seasons, the Goat Walk is a great place to walk your dog, hold hands with your partner, or simply admire the call of the avocet. 




Lining the Exminster Marshes (shown here), the canal, and the River Exe, reeds sway gently in the wind. Once used commonly as thatching for the roofs of Devon homes, the hallow reeds are perfect for keeping rain out of the living room.



Shining warm light on a cold day, the beams of sun touch upon the Exminster Marsh. An abundance of wildlife can be spotted amongst the reeds, grasses, and waters.



On a bitter day in March, one almost wishes the canal locks were still in operation, for surely the friendly lock keeper would invite a cold passerby in for a cup of tea and a warm fire.



Although we footslogged the gravel path of the marsh, we saw many a biker weaving through the mud and puddles. The Exminster and Topsham area is well-known for its beautiful cycling routesThe adventurers pictured braved the cold for a peaceful Canadian canoe ride on the canal. The Turf, a pub at the confluence of the canal and the River Exe rents other water sport equipment as well.



Another bridge, another stream—keep out of those mud puddles! 



Looking out from one of the charming small footbridges that pepper the fields of the Exminster Marsh, one can see the water and the reeds curl away towards the horizon. 

Captions © Megan Otto and Abbie Titcomb
Photos © Megan Otto


Topsham and Exminster Marshes