Decoy Country Park
Decoy Country Park is located on the edge of Newton Abbot and was first created in 1988. It is thought that Decoy was named after an earlier lake at which ducks were lured into a ‘decoy’ and then caught and killed for food.
In the late 19th Century ball clay was found at Decoy and the area was turned into a quarry. After the clay had been removed it was taken to Newton Town Quay where it was loaded onto barges. Decoy was both quarried and mined for ball clay from 1850 until 1965. After the quarrying ceased the pit quickly filled with water and the bare clay surrounding much of it slowly became vegetated again.
A visit to Decoy allows you to enjoy beautiful wildlife and countryside. The park is home to ponds, streams, fen, wet woodland and heathy woodland. Most of the Country Park is either a County Wildlife Site (CWS) or a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Woodland area has a variety of trees including birch, hazel, oak, and holly and in the wetter part of the woodland around the lake, alder, willow, birch, dogwood and spindle can be found. Within the woodland you may see one of the many badger setts or fox earths. For those who enjoy a spot of bird watching there are plenty of different species to be seen icluding Buzzards, ravens, crows, jays and woodpeckers along smaller woodland birds such as warblers, finches and robins.
Living in the lake and associated ponds there are newts, common frogs, toads and dragonflies. The Lake is also home to a large population of breeding mallards, coots and moorhens. Mute swans and Canada geese often breed there and in the winter months up to 250 of these geese may roost on the water. Cormorants and kingfishers are sometimes seen there, visiting to fish. When Decoy was a quarry a leat was built around the working area. This is now edged by a good variety of ferns and liverworts and its gravelly bed is home to large numbers of freshwater shrimps.
When visiting the Country Park you will be able to enjoy the surrounding countryside by taking at walk on one of the three circular trails or maybe do a spot of wildlife watching, duck feeding or simply enjoy a family picnic. Please note that due to the lakes depth and slippery slopes there is strictly no swimming allowed.
Decoy also has a very impressive large childrens play area which is suitable for children of all ages and includes a water feature. There is also an large area of formal playing fields. Cycling for children under 7 is permited on the Blue, Red and Green Trails and there is a cycle track for under 14 year olds and accompanying adults which takes you through the woods to the local BMX track situated at Coach Road.
You may fish throughout the year in Decoy Lake except in the magazine pond. You will need a fishing permit which can be purchased at Forde House, from the Refreshments Kiosk or from the Rangers at Decoy. You will need to also sign a commitment to the Fishing Code of Conduct. The Lake is not stocked.
Based at Decoy is the Devon Windsurf & Canoe Centre a Windsurfing and Canoeing School which will teach you the basics of both watersports. They offer a number of different courses depending on your ability. For further information contact tel:07971051509.
Decoy has a Discovery Centre which is open and available for public, school and groups’ use between May and September. The centre contains information about boh Decoy and the surrounding District of Teignbridge. Opening times vary but it is usually open between 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm during the summer holidays.
The Teignbridge Rangers also run guided walks and other public events such as ‘Its a bugs life’ which gives you the opportunity to look for creatures living in the pond, up the trees an in the grass! So theres plenty to do all year round. There is a small charge for most events and some will also require booking.
* Disabled parking
* Disabled toilet (Radar key)
* The Blue Circular Trail around the lake – which is suitable for most wheelchairs, particularly if used in clockwise direction (avoids an uphill slope)
* A Tactile map with Braille text for people with visual handicaps
* An Electric Mobility ‘Scooter’ – ring 01626 215773 or 01626 215751 to book
Decoy is a part of our pet friendly places as dogs are allowed in the park. However dogs must be kept on a lead until they are well away from the lake, sports field and car park. There are dog mess bins provided. Please note dogs are not permited in the play area.
Decoy Country Park is on the south-east edge of Newton Abbot. It is ‘brown-signed’ on the Newton Abbot exit from the A380 Penn Inn roundabout. The main entrance is located on Decoy Road. Many visitors walk to the site, as the Park is within a 15 minute walk or cycle ride from much of Newton Abbot. There is a car park with spaces for 90 cars (a small charge of 60p for 9 hours applies). A local bus service stops at the Park entrance and Newton Abbot railway station is less than a mile away.