Aerial view of Newport Wetlands, Wales

Gwent Levels

Gwent Levels

The Gwent Levels Futurescape is renowned for the specialist wildlife it supports – a rich patchwork of different habitats and landscapes sweeping the Severn Estuary coastline from Cardiff past the Second Severn Crossing and beyond.

This Futurescape covers the Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve, Magor Marsh Wildlife Trust reserve and several other key sites where organisations are working together to save wildlife for future generations.  This is one of the largest ‘hand crafted’ landscapes in the UK, and is internationally recognised for archeological remains and the distinct field patterns first reclaimed from the sea in Roman times. 

It covers approximately 57 square kilometres and is a mixture of coastal floodplains, drainage channels known locally as ‘reens’, saltmarshes and mudflats. It’s this mix of wetlands which allows so many species of insects, animals and birds to find homes here.

Wildlife knows no boundaries, which is why we are working together with partners, conservation groups, communities, local farmers and individuals across Wales as part of our Futurescapes project.


PDF, 2.93Mb. Date: 10 September 2015

Futurescapes - The Gwent Levels

Explore the area

Find out what’s going on near this Futurescape, including places to visit, news and local events, plus how you can work or volunteer for us. 

Children birdwatching, at the opening of RSPB Newport Wetlands Centre, Newport, Wales
Kids at Newport Wetlands

Nearby reserves

Reserves and other protected areas are a key part of Futurescapes. They provide core areas for nature to thrive and eventually repopulate the surrounding landscapes. The key RSPB reserves within this Futurescape are:

Newport Wetlands

This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the fringes of the city, but is also a great place for people, boasting a new RSPB visitor centre, a café, shop and children's play area. 

School children at the opening of RSPB Newport Wetlands Centre, Newport, Wales
Newport Wetlands

Featured projects

We're working to safeguard and improve special places for nature. Each Futurescape contains a range of initiatives in addition to our reserves. The combination of these creates better conditions for wildlife across the countryside.

M4 motorway diversion around Newport, Gwent

A new motorway could be built south of Newport across the nationally important Gwent Levels. Three new road options have been proposed, all of which have worrying implications for this fragile wetland landscape. The Welsh Government has selected what environmental organisations have agreed would be the most damaging of all – the "Black Route". The Welsh Government is now facing a legal challenge from Friends of the Earth Cymru over the way it has acted.

 Water vole Arvicola terrestris, sitting on bank of canal feeding, Derbyshire, England, April
Water vole

Our partners

Futurescapes is all about collaboration. There are many organisations and people involved in managing land in the Gwent Levels. Our challenge is working together to find ways of making more space for nature. To achieve this we’re working with: