Slapton Ley

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A view across Slapton Ley from Stokenham, near Torcross.

Slapton Ley is a lake on the south coast of Devon, England, separated from Start Bay by a shingle beach, known as Slapton Sands.

It is the largest natural freshwater lake in South West England.

It is 1.5 miles long and is made up of two parts (the Lower Ley and the Higher Ley).

The site is a National Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

There is a large population of Cetti's Warbler at the site, and Bittern are resident. The rare plant Strapwort is found here.

The A379 between the Ley and the sea runs along the shingle ridge. It has recently been damaged by coastal erosion and rebuilt.

There is a nature reserve, owned by the Whitley Wildlife Trust and managed by the Field Studies Council. Slapton Ley’s beaches are affected by erosion but the beaches are formed from sediment; this makes them special because they are non-replaceable: once the sediment is moved it’s gone. The beach can only become smaller. This threatens the security of the mainland because when the beaches are gone mass amounts of water damage would occur on the land. The nature reserve would be destroyed and the site of special scientific interest would be lost.

Slapton Ley, along with Slapton Sands, host a wide variety of habitats and wildlife.

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Coordinates: 50°16′59″N 3°39′11″W / 50.283°N 3.653°W / 50.283; -3.653