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RSPB Darts Farm

RSPB Darts Farm

Discover Feathered Friends at RSPB Darts Farm

Just outside Topsham in Devon, RSPB Darts Farm is a conservation habitat haven for over 250 species of birds. Following woodland hiking trails and birdwatching hides overlooking meadows and ponds, a visit to Darts Farm provides nature lovers with a tranquil escape where you can spot native British birds alongside exotic introduced species.

With family friendly facilities from interactive discovery zones to outdoor play, RSPB Darts Farm makes for an engaging day out appreciating the beauty of birds. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your visit.

RSPB shop Darts Farm

Getting There

By Car

RSPB Darts Farm is conveniently located just 3 miles outside of Exeter. Leave the A3022 at the signposted Darts Farm exit as you drive south from Exeter towards Exmouth. There is free parking in designated areas once you arrive.

By Bus

While less convenient, you can also catch the number 57 bus from Exeter or Topsham towards Exmouth and alight at the Darts Farm bus stop. From there it’s a 5 minute walk to the reserve entrance.

Opening Times and Prices

RSPB Darts Farm is open daily from 9:30am until 5pm (4:30pm in winter). Last entry is one hour before closing time. It’s only closed on Christmas Day.

Entry is free for RSPB members and non members alike.

RSPB members and Gift Aid ticket holders enter free. Some extra bird experiences like owl encounters have added fees.

Spotting Birds

From vivid kingfishers to elegant cranes, the diverse birdlife at Darts Farm is the star attraction. Some species to spot here include:

  • Resident birds – Robins, wrens, blackbirds inhabit the woodlands year-round.
  • Water birds – Herons, egrets, and ducks wade through the wetlands.
  • Raptors – Watch for buzzards and falcons hovering above.
  • Exotic introductions – Spot colourful mandarin ducks and bee-eaters.
  • Seasonal visitors – Woodpeckers, warblers and waders stop by on migrations.

Pick up a bird checklist from reception to track how many species you can identify. Seeing a new bird for the first time is a thrill for all ages.

flock of birds

Wildlife Walking Trails

A network of nature trails wind through the site’s diverse ecosystems providing chances to spot all the feathered residents:

  • Woodland trails – Follow paths through oak forest and shrubs.
  • Wetland walkway – Get views over ponds and marshy areas.
  • Meadow loop – Winding path with long glass overlooking flower fields.
  • Birdwatching hides – Concealed huts blend into habitats, offering close sightings.

With three main colour coded walking trails ranging from 1-2 miles, you can tailor distances to your abilities. Allow 2-3 hours to leisurely explore by foot.

Interactive Discovery Zones

As well as roaming freely spotting birds, RSPB Darts Farm incorporates several family-friendly discovery zones:

  • Forest school area – Natural materials for building dens and creativity.
  • Pond zone – Use nets and viewers to see underwater life.
  • Nature play trail – Sensory activities like bark rubbings and touch textures.
  • Discovery Garden – Spot insects, listen for birds and identify plantlife.
  • Indoor science hub – Exhibits explain bird behaviours and biology.

These interactive elements turn every walk into a fun adventure for little explorers. Kids earn activity stickers as they learn.

ducks

Facilities and Food

The Darts Farm cafe provides hot lunches, cream teas, cakes and refreshments. An outdoor picnic area is also available if you bring your own food.

The shop is packed with bird-themed gifts, toys, books and souvenirs for all ages. Toilets and baby changing facilities are situated by the cafe.

Making a Day of It

Between the walking trails, bird hides, activity zones and onsite cafe there is easily enough to fill a full day at RSPB Darts Farm.

Arrive early to take advantage of the feeding activity at wetland areas. After lunch, use the trails to target any species you haven’t spotted yet. Finish up in the discovery garden for nature play time.

With its serene atmosphere and wealth of birdlife, RSPB Darts Farm makes the perfect place for a peaceful yet engaging day connecting with nature. Beginners and experts alike will adore spotting feathered friends in this Devon wildlife haven.

darts orig

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the RSPB shop at Darts Farm open? – Every day except Christmas Day. Opens at 9.30am

Where can I buy RSPB fat balls? – At the RSPB shop in Darts Farm

Are dogs allowed on the walks? – No, for the safety of the birds

Nearby Attractions

While in the area, you should think about viisint some of the oter nearby attractions, including:

  • Exeter Quayside offers a charming blend of historic buildings, independent shops, and waterside eateries. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the quay, take a boat trip, or simply soak in the picturesque surroundings
  • A la Ronde is a unique 16-sided house with delightful gardens, located approximately 5 miles from RSPB Darts Farm. This National Trust property offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the lives of its former inhabitants and features a shell gallery with intricate designs crafted by the original owners
  • The Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is renowned for its stunning cliffs, fossil-rich beaches, and geological significance. Visitors can explore the coastal paths, discover ancient fossils, and marvel at the dramatic landscapes that span 185 million years of Earth’s history
  • Topsham Museum, situated near RSPB Darts Farm, provides an insight into the history of the town and its maritime heritage. The museum’s exhibits include displays on shipbuilding, trade, and the local community, offering a captivating journey through Topsham’s past
  • The Goat Walk is a scenic riverside walk in Topsham, offering panoramic views of the Exe Estuary and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can enjoy a tranquil stroll along the path, observing the diverse birdlife and taking in the peaceful ambiance

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