Nature Reserves Near Me

nature reservation

Do you enjoy being outdoors, surrounded by nature and exploring new places around you or even further away? Parks and discovering mazes are always a good shout but have you ever thought about visiting a nature reserve near you?

Nature reservations are areas of land that are protected, conserved and managed, this is to protect the flora, animals and environment within the land! They’re great places to visit, especially if you love nature and are passionate about protecting the environment around us.

Here are the best nature reservations near you:

Saltwells National Nature Reserve

Where: Brierley Hill, Dudley

Saltwells National Nature Reserve is one of the UK’s largest urban nature reserves and the biggest woodland in the West Midlands, making it worth a visit. With a beautiful bluebell woodland as far as the eye can see, you’ll be blessed with the pretty purples as you wander through the woods. There are plenty of trails for all abilities around and you can explore an old clay and coal mining landscape which has now been transformed into a garden of stunning orchids and butterflies!

It actually won the first UNESCO UK Man and the Biosphere’s Urban Wildlife Aware for Excellence in 1992 and is still one of a few places to have achieved that. Due to its geology, it has a rich history foretold in its 420 million-year-old rocks.

Read more about it here

Attenborough Nature Reserve and Centre

Where: Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Nottingham

Opened and established in 1966 by none other than the great David Attenborough! The Attenborough Nature Reserve is an area of beautiful land that is home to an abundance of species, including kingfishers, bitterns, otters, insects and lots of plants! Attracting around 500,000 visitors every year, it is a popular nature reserve to visit, especially when spotting the gorgeous wildlife around! Can you spot any kingfishers or even a shy otter?

You can even have kid’s birthday parties here as well as attend fun walks, talks and workshops at the Attenborough Nature Centre too!

Read more about it here

Willington Wetlands

Where: Trent Valley, Derbyshire

Willington Wetlands was a former gravel quarry which is now abundant with birdlife all year long! With ducks in the winter, to commern terns and sand martins during the summer. As well as birds of prey like the peregrine, kestrel, hobby and sparrowhawk, which have all been spotted at the nature reserve. Dragonflies and damselflies flittering around here too, plenty of them!

The flood gravel pits are now an important wetland habitat for many birds, rare or common. It is also now home to some beavers, after being reintroduced in 2021 – so see if you can spot any!

Read more about it here

Wicken Fen Nature Reserve

Where: Ely, Cambridgeshire

Wicken Fen is one of Europe’s most important wetlands, what a characteristic to have! With more than 9000 species here, like birds, Highland cattle, Konik ponies, water voles, bitterns, dragonflies and much more. An abundance of wildlife is found here, and you’ll have easy access to the area of Sedge Fen, the heart of the reserve, by walking on the boardwalk and lush grass droves. Leading you down to the beautiful flowering meadows and a ‘lost landscape’.

It was also one of the first nature reserves to be owned by the National Trust, so it’s a super nature reserve near you to visit on your next outdoor adventure with the family!

Read more about it here

Brockholes Nature Reserve

Where: Preston, Lancashire

Visit 250 acres of the stunning natural reserve! It was also once a quarry site but has been transformed into a window on wildlife, like the Meadow Lake which is fantastic for bird watchers! And when the water is shallow, you’ll catch birds feeding on tiny invertebrates once exposed. The reed fringes are also home to some of the largest populations of birds, for those that roost and breed there. But if you’re into marshes, you’ll be blessed with 10 hectares of wet grassland and 5 pools! You’ll catch birds such as Lapwing, Redshank and the Snipes!

There’s so much to see, hear and admire at the Brockholes Nature Reserve. It really is a gem for wildlife and a family-friendly outdoor activity for you to enjoy. But furry friends aren’t allowed here, so please keep them at home!

Read more about it here

South Walney Nature Reserve

Where: Barrow in Furness, Cumbria

Treat yourself to some stunning views along the Morecambe bay! Made of shingle, it is the ideal place for bird watching and a grey seal colony, for those who love seal pups! An array of birds court, nest and live in the nature reserve, like eider ducks, oystercatchers, ringed plovers and spotted redshanks. Throughout the year, keep your eye out for barn owls, short-eared owls and peregrines!

Even though you may be lucky enough to see seal pups, access to this area is not permitted as they’re very vulnerable!

Read more about it here

Blakney National Nature Reserve

Where: Morston, Norfolk

Blakney National Nature Reserve is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which has wide open spaces as far as the eye can see and stunning views of the Northern Norfolk coastline. With a 4-mile long shingle spit of Blakeney Point, which in turn protects the harbour and saltmarshes. These saltmarshes are home to a variety of wildlife both permanent and migratory residents!

It is also a place where you can admire the breeding grey seals, delighting visitors all year long. It’s the perfect nature reserve near you if you love spectacular walks, sightseeing and discovering thriving wildlife! Blakeney Point is also the ideal place to walk your dogs, especially on Cley Beach, as you play fetch and splash about in the water!

Read more about it here

Samphire Hoe Nature Reserve

Where: Dover, Kent

With 200 species of plants, 220 species of birds and 30 species of butterflies, there is something for every wildlife and environmental lover.

It’s also a nature reserve of the Eurotunnel, situated between Folkestone and Dover. Marking a place for both people and wildlife to co-exist, as long as the humans stay on the paths! Measuring an impressive 30 hectares and is home to an extensive amount of flora that is appreciated by scientists worldwide. Such as rare early spider orchids, bee orchids, pink restharrows, rock sea lavender, wild carrots and so much more.

Read more about it here

Newtown National Nature Reserve

Where: Newtown, Isle of Wight

The only nature reserve on the Isle of Wight, which makes it an important place to preserve and protect. Explore an abundance of flower hay meadows, and ancient woodland, and gaze upon beautifully rare butterfly species and red squirrels. Then as you wander along to the salt marsh, you’ll notice it’s alive with various bird species and more wildlife.

It’s a beautiful retreat for those who love to walk, discover abundant wildlife and those who love to explore the outdoors for some peace!

Read more about it here

Murlough National Nature Reserve

Where: County Down, Northern Ireland

Discover a 6000-year-old fragile sand dune environment at Murlough National Nature Reserve. A fantastic place for bird watching and walking. Whether you wander through beautiful woodland, heath or sand dunes, you’ll see an abundance of wildlife. Like butterflies, wildflowers, the pygmy shrew, rabbits and plenty of birds.

Whether it’s summer or winter, the nature reserve is open for those interested in finding the beauty of it.

Find out more here

Inversnaid Nature Reserve

Where: Inversnaid, Stirling

On the east shore of Loch Lomond is a reserve the size of 800 hectares and rises from sea level to the height of the summit of Beinn a’ Choin (770m!).

There is a mixed native woodland, as well as Atlantic oak woodland and wildlife differs over the various seasons. During the winter you may hear stags running up the hills, saw grey wagtail birds fluttering around and spot huge milk cap fungus’!

You’ll be amazed at the picturesque landscapes, stunning and awe-inspiring waterfalls and a haven of bird wildlife. It’s certainly a nature reservation near you that is 100% worth visiting if you’re looking for views that take your breath away.

Read more here

Rhinog National Nature Reserve

Where: Nr. Harlech, North Wales

If you’re a fan of hiking and love to find areas of natural beauty high up in mountains, then this is the nature reservation for you. Lying in the centre of the Rhinogydd mountains, you’ll be brought to a gorgeous sight of upland heaths which bloom into beautiful pink flowers as well as tiny orchids, Roman steps and old paths.

It’s a unique place to wander, explore and discover, whether you hike, bike or run!

Have you found your nature reservation to visit? Whether you go on a hiking trip to one of them, wrap or warm or come for a peaceful day out. Appreciate the beauty around you, protect the environment and admire the home these nature reservations near you, provide.

Looking for some more outdoor adventures? Check out our things to do page where you’ll find fantastic, fun and exciting activities to do. Like travelling to a Gruffalo trail near you, the Stickman trail, or adventure playgrounds for kids!

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