The area outlined in red is the Gotleigh Moor part of the SSSI which extends in to Southey Moor to the North East.
The Bolham River has cut through the Cretaceous Greensand on the Blackdown Hills creating a valley with gently sloping sides each having moor characteristics. Permeable coarse and loamy soils have developed over the Greensand. Springs arise from the valley sides raising the water table and creating shallow peaty areas. There is a pronounced upper plateau and terracing with a sharp drop over the greensand to the mire system.