Dynamic Druridge & Hauxley Straw Build

Hauxley Building© BrightBlue Studio

The Dynamic Druridge project is the first step towards creating a connected mosaic of healthy habitats through Druridge Bay and, ultimately, a thriving landscape, rich in biodiversity, and well used by local people and visitors.

The project involves habitat works and access improvements to five nature reserves in this stunning area of Northumberland. A key part of the project, was the creation of an innovative and environmentally sound new visitor facility at Hauxley Nature Reserve, which began in early 2015 and officially opened on 23 June 2017.

North Tyneside Architects Brightblue Studios have designed an eco-build which is intended to be the ‘greenest’ building in the North East and is made using locally grown and traditional building materials, including straw bales and timber.The new facility can host an exciting programme of recreational, educational and volunteering activities designed to reconnect people with nature and the wider landscape.

Hauxley Nature Reserve Delivery Activities

  • Build a new innovative visitor facility: the Druridge Bay Wildlife Discovery Centre; built in and from the landscape, which will provide a focus for wildlife watching, education and engagement and act as a gateway to Druridge Bay’s wildlife experience. NOW OPEN
  • Create a new volunteer workshop in the existing building on site (currently used as a temporary visitor centre and office/kitchen space)
  • Create a new circular pathway route around the nature reserve with new viewing points and seating
  • Create new meadow, woodland and hedgerow habitats on the newly purchased extension to the reserve
  • Use conservation grazing and manage grassland areas for wildlife

East Chevington Nature Reserve Delivery Activities

  • Create new ponds and scrapes
  • Carry out new wetland planting
  • Manage grassland areas
  • Reprofile drainage ditches
  • Provide a new permissive footpath from the road which will link to existing paths on the site
  • Relocate one of the hides and create new access

Druridge Pools Nature Reserve Delivery Activities

  • Undertake major landform works around the pools to create shallow feeding areas, scrapes and islands
  • Use conservation grazing of grassland areas
  • Create new hedgerow habitat
  • Install bird and bat boxes
  • Coppice the shelterbelt
  • Upgrade the hides

Cresswell Pond and Cresswell Shore Nature Reserves Delivery Activities

  • Develop and deliver a sustainable method of clearing the sand bar to allow salt water incursion into the lagoon and enhance feeding areas for wading birds
  • Involve volunteers in removing marine litter from the ponds and other aspects of site management
  • Upgrade the path for disabled access
  • Install a new interpretation board
  • Encourage additional usage by the wider community

Linton Lane Delivery Activities

  • Manage the developing woodland
  • Use conservation grazing for the surrounding grassland areas
  • Create new scrapes to introduce a wet pasture-type habitat
  • Create new footpaths using wood chippings sources form woodland management
  • Improve wildlife watching hides overlooking the ponds

The work carried out so far has been made possible by funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, charitable Trusts and private donations. 

Delivery of the visitor centre cannot be achieved by the HLF grant alone. Northumberland Wildlife Trust is still asking its supporters to volunteer their time or donate building materials to help us complete our ambitious plans.

For further information on the Dynamic Druridge project, please contact Duncan Hutt, Head of Conservation at the Trust on: (0191) 284 6884 or via email: duncan.hutt@northwt.org.uk


You can review the fantastic work to create our new Hauxley Discovery Centre in these videos created by two local schools. 

Video 1




Video 2


Video 3


Video 4