Lyme Regis, Dorset Beer, Devon Durdle Door, Dorset Seaton Beach, Devon Lyme Regis, Dorset Bob Bradshaw
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Seaton, Devon

Seaton Seafront, DevonSeaton is a seaside town in East Devon on the south coast of England. The town faces onto Lyme Bay, to the west of the mouth of the River Axe with red cliffs to one side and white cliffs on the other. Axmouth and Beer are nearby. A sea wall provides access to the mostly shingle beach stretching for about a mile, and a small harbour. Seaton stands on the 95-mile Jurassic Coast of the Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Coastline. From here it is possible to visit three eras of rock strata in this 185 million-year ‘geological walk through time’.


The Clock Tower, Jubilee Gardens, Seaton, DevonA farming community existed here 4,000 years before the Romans arrived and there were Iron Age forts in the vicinity at Seaton Down, Hawkesdown hill, Blackbury Camp and Berry camp. During Roman times this was an important port although the town's roman remains have been reburied to preserve them. In Saxon times Seaton was know as Fluta or Fleet, the Saxon word for Creek. The town of Fleet was founded by Saxon Charter 1005 AD. The first mention of Seaton was in a Papal Bull by Pope Eugenius in 1146. Seaton was an important port for several centuries, supplying ships and sailors for Edward I's wars against Scotland and France. In the 14th century heavy storms caused a landslip which partially blocked the estuary, and the shingle bank started to build up. In 1868 the arrival of the railway reduced the use of the harbour. Seaton was served by a branch line from Seaton Junction some 6 miles to the north on the London and South Western Railway main line from London Waterloo and Salisbury to Exeter For many years coaches were taken off the Exeter services and then taken down the branch line, giving a through service to London. The line closed in 1967, and part of the trackbed was used to construct the Seaton Tramway to Colyton which has become a tourist attraction bringing in around 185,000 visitors a year. In the 19th century Seaton developed as a holiday camp resort and many of the town buildings are Victorian. The camp (Lyme Bay Holiday Village) has now shut down. The church on the edge of town was built in the 14th century, with a squat tower dating from the 15th century. Seaton is also notable for having one of the worlds first concrete bridges, built over the River Axe in 1877.

Present Day

Castle Hill, Seaton, DevonThere are 3,300 homes in the parish, of which approximately one third are of single person occupancy. The majority of those persons are of pensionable age. Politically, Seaton is a civil parish and town, in the district of East Devon. The area around Seaton is rich in wildlife. The agricultural landscape supports areas of ancient woodland (often with displays of bluebells), important networks of hedges, unimproved grassland and springline mires. Around Beer there are remnants of flower-rich chalk grassland, a rare habitat in Devon. The Axe Estuary, with its areas of grazing marsh, and the River Axe itself, are of international importance for their aquatic communities. To the east lies the Axmouth to Lyme Regis Undercliffs National Nature Reserve. This large area of coastal landslides and cliffs supports important woodland and grassland habitats and is of considerable significance for its geology, as witnessed by its inclusion in the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. Otters are present on the River Axe, and dormice are present throughout the area. To the west, near Beer, are man-made caves of importance for a diversity of hibernating[bat]]s, including the very rare Bechsteins bat. The Axe Estuary and its marshes are important for wintering wildfowl and waders, such as curlew and redshank, while in the summer butterflies and dragonflies abound. The bird-watching and wildlife areas of the Axe Vale have been enhanced by the establishment of the Seaton Marshes Local Nature Reserve, work to establish it was carried out by the Axe Vale & District Conservation Society. In 2007 an Audouin's Gull was seen here - one of very few British sightings of this bird. The area to the east of the retail area to the River Axe (mainly floodplain) has been the subject of a regeneration plan formulated in 2003. As of late 2006 only one of the developers involved has submitted a plan for the development of this area. There is resistance to this proposed development from some of the community and it is unlikely the development will proceed in its current form.


The Bowling Green, Seaton, Devon
The Bowling Green, Seaton, Devon - 2009

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