In the summer months it is the home for wild Exmoor ponies who graze the heath. On summer evenings, between May and July, after sunset the churring of nightjars starts and continues into the night, it is truly a wonderful call and you will not forget this experience. You may also see buzzards, crossbill, Dartford warblers, goldcrest, various lark, linnet, marsh tits, tree pipits, snipe, woodcock, woodpeckers and many other birds. If you are lucky you may see common lizards, various snakes and butterflies including the comma, white and red admirals, and even a purple emperor has been spotted. Along the broadwater stream the RSPB has built boardwalks across the rare mire with its rusty water, coloured by the local iron ore, and rare grasses.
For visitors interested in military history, the heathland across Broadwater Warren was used for 150 years as a training ground for the military. In Napoleonic times it was a rifle range. The mound where the targets were positioned is still clearly visible and if you look carefully you can also see the smaller mounds or butts placed at 100 yard intervals from where soldiers would fire their shots. There have been archaeological excavations of trenches which were used for training in WW1. You can visit the remains of the turret of a Churchill tank from WW11 when Canadian regiments were stationed at Broadwater Warren and practised tank manoeuvres.