Braunton Marsh is a collection of separate pastures that has been used in this way since the enclosure of the Marsh in 1811.
It is managed by Braunton Marsh Drainage Board and is one of the few remaining marshes to be operated by an independent Drainage Board.
The Marshes lie near the mouth of the Taw Torridge Estuary, are flat with slow-flowing freshwater channels and are close to a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and the UNESCO International Biosphere Reserve.
A large variety of wildlife make their home on the Marsh, some all year round, others migratory, including Swans, Moorhens, Barn Owls, Curlews, Great Green Bush Crickets, Woodpeckers, Greater Horseshoe Bats, Badgers, Robin, Reed Bunting, Sand Martin and Kingfishers.
Among the numerous plants that can be found on the Marsh are Bittersweet / Woody nightshade, Cow Parsley, Lady’s Smock, Milk-maids, Gorse, Hazel, Honeysuckle, Marsh Thistle, Sedge and Yellow Flag.
Marsh owners graze cattle, sheep and horses with some Marshes being used for other forms of farming.
The drainage system operates by means of gravity with the water exiting the Marsh via the Great Sluice. Some water enters the system via the River Caen, predominantly during the Summer.
The Toll Road which runs adjacent to the Inner Bank is managed by the Braunton Marsh Inspectors, a separate organisation to the Drainage Board.