Reserves by keyword
You are browsing places tagged with the big skies keyword.
Experience the spectacle of the tens of thousands of wintering ducks, geese and swans that visit the estuary and surrounding grazing marshes. In spring, the marshes are filled with the atmospheric calls of lapwings and redshanks, all breeding on one of the UK's largest expanses of wet grassland.
Buckenham Marshes is a traditionally managed grazing marsh with large numbers of breeding wading birds, and ducks and geese in winter. The reserve also often boasts the only regular winter flock of bean geese in England (November to February), together with white-fronted geese and up to 10,000 wigeons.
Cliffe Pools nature reserve offers a spectacular landscape of open water and big skies. The reserve is one of the most important places for wildlife in the UK with huge flocks of wetland birds. A number of nature trails cross the reserve, affording great views of the pools, wildlife and the River Thames which runs alongside.
Stroll down a shell-white beach, marvel at the summer colour as the flowers bloom along the sand dunes, and keep your eyes peeled for the most elusive of birds. You'll probably hear the corncrake's distinctive rasping call between May and July - but will you see one?
If you haven't been to Dungeness, nothing can quite prepare you for this landscape - mile after mile of shingle, wild and weird! Dungeness's position, jutting into the English Channel, makes it ideally placed to watch for migrant birds arriving or departing.
The whole island of Fetlar is a haven for flora and fauna, and a great place to come exploring. Along the coast you might be lucky enough to see otters. The island is full of birds in summer, including red-throated divers, golden plovers, skuas and wild rock doves.
At Freiston Shore you can get excellent views of waterbirds on the salt water lagoon, especially at high tide when wading birds roost, sometimes in their thousands.
The large reedbed, open water, saltmarsh, wet grassland and bushes attract many different birds. Bearded tits and Cetti's warblers can be seen all year and autumn migration can be spectacular, with hundreds of swallows, martins and wagtails, as well as lots of wading birds.
There's something for everyone all year round at this delightful coastal reserve. In the spring you can see brown hares boxing in the fields, while in the early summer you'll spot nesting birds like avocets and lapwings.
Discover the breathtaking scenery and wildlife that's typical of this region. Stroll along the nature trails and use the viewing hides to explore at your own pace.
There's so much to see and hear at Minsmere: splendid woodland, wetland and coastal scenery, rare birds breeding and calling in on their migrations, shy wildlife like otters, the booming call of bitterns in spring, beautiful bugs and colourful wild flowers in summer.
Reaching over 76 metres above the sea, these dramatic cliffs house Orkney's largest seabird colony. Once seen, it's never forgotten! Walk along the cliff path in the summer and you'll see an array of wildflowers, while below you on the cliffs, guillemots, kittiwakes and razorbills will be nesting.
Come during the spring and summer and you will see a wonderfully exuberant display of summer flowers and possibly the rare great yellow bumblebee.
In the heart of The Fens, the Ouse Washes forms the largest area of washland (grazing pasture that floods in the winter) in the UK. The reserve attracts thousands of ducks and swans in winter, and in spring, hundreds of snipe, lapwings and redshanks breed.
A nature reserve in central Weymouth sounds unlikely, but once you are on the footpath amongst the reeds and lagoons you could be far away in the countryside.
We managed to acquire Rainham Marshes in 2000 and set about transforming it into an important place for nature and a great place for people to visit. Now you can expect to see breeding wading birds in spring and summer, and large flocks of wild ducks in winter.
This is the place to witness two of the UK's great wildlife spectacles: tens of thousands of wading birds wheeling over the mudflats, or packed onto roostbanks and islands in front of our hides at high tide, plus the dawn and dusk flights of skies full of pink-footed geese.
Walk round the reedbeds, woodlands and orchid-rich meadows and you could chance upon marsh harriers, bitterns and kingfishers. Come in spring and summer when the meadows bloom with flowers, and see an array of dragonflies and butterflies, including the spectacular swallowtail.
This popular reserve on the north Norfolk coast has something for everyone. A walk from the visitor centre down to the sandy beach takes you past reedbeds and shallow lagoons, which are often full of birds. You can sit on benches or watch from spacious, wheelchair-accessible hides.
The best time to visit this typical piece of Orkney moorland is during the summer months, when you should see breeding red-throated divers, hen harriers, merlins and short-eared owls.
The fields here used to be arable farmland, but now you can see lapwings, snipe, curlews and redshanks nesting here in summer, as well as yellow wagtails, skylarks and meadow pipits.
Grassholm is a remote offshore island supporting 39,000 pairs of breeding gannets. This is the third largest Atlantic gannet colony in the world (behind St Kilda and Bass Rock), supporting around 10 per cent of the entire world population.
Isley Marsh is made up of saltmarsh and intertidal mudflats on the southern edge of the Taw Torridge estuary. It is an important haven in the busy estuary for undisturbed feeding and resting birds, especially the wintering flocks of ducks and waders.
Set in the beautiful North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), home to black grouse, birds of prey and breeding waders and ideal for walking. There are four waymarked trails leading from the car park at Howgill.
Our reserve here comprises extensive grazing marshes with brackish water fleets, reedbeds, saltmarsh and two offshore islands. In winter, thousands of wildfowl come here and summer sees breeding waders.
In the Cambridgeshire Fens we're working with Hanson on an ambitious scheme. We're transforming a working sand and gravel quarry into a vast nature reserve with open water, grassland and, when complete, the biggest reedbed in the UK.
A major new extension to this coastal wetland reserve includes a reedbed, large freshwater scrapes and wet grassland. These habitats have all been created to bring the wildlife of the Wash closer to you.
Otmoor is a magical nature reserve of wet meadows and reedbeds. It is a haven in winter for thousands of ducks, such as teals and wigeons, and in spring and summer for breeding wading birds, such as lapwings and redshanks.
Portmore Lough is a great day out at any time of year. In summer, the hay meadows attract a bewildering variety of insects, while in the winter greylag geese, whooper swans and thousands of ducks can be seen from the hide.
The sandflats and saltmarshes of Morecambe Bay are vital feeding grounds for a quarter of a million wading birds, ducks and geese. It's the second most important estuary in the UK and is protected by European and UK law. You can get great views of the spectacular flocks of birds.
This new saltmarsh reserve is a great place to admire the gathered pink-footed geese, wigeons, teals and other wildfowl in winter, along with big flocks of golden plovers, lapwings and black-tailed godwits. In spring the marshes are alive with the sight and sound of displaying waders, including avocets and lapwings. But as recently as 2006, the land was used for growing crops.
Beckingham Marshes is a major habitat creation project on the River Trent floodplain, where we've created a wet grassland habitat.
These remote mudflats and fields are the ideal place to see brent geese, whooper swans and wigeons in the early winter months. The best vantage points are on the minor roads off the A2 between Limavady and Londonderry.
Just five miles from Exeter city centre, Exminster and Powderham Marshes are great places to see birds all year-round. You can enjoy lovely walks here in this fascinating landscape.
Wallasea Island Wild Coast project is a landmark conservation and engineering scheme for the 21st century, on a scale never before attempted in the UK and the largest of its type in Europe.
The view that opens up in front of you is breathtaking. Cairnsmore of Fleet and the Galloway Hills act as a backdrop to wild saltmarsh and mudflats which positively ooze with birdlife. Watch thousands of wading birds wheel in the sky in a mesmerising display.
Pagham Harbour is a glorious and peaceful nature reserve, one of the few undeveloped stretches of the Sussex coast, and an internationally important wetland site for wildlife.