This former quarry site returned to nature, comprises scrub and woodland providing a green haven for a wide variety of plants and wildlife.

Location

The reserve is located at the entrance to the village, next to the main car park and the Craster Tourist Information Centre.
Craster
Northumberland
NE66 3TW

OS Map Reference

NU 255 197
A static map of Arnold Memorial

Know before you go

Size
1 hectare

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Car parking in the public car park beside the reserve (charge applies).

Walking trails

The route through the reserve is well surfaced and level. The pathway through the reserve links Craster with Craster Tower and Howick Hall and joins up with the road leading to Cullernose Point.

Access

The main access is from the public car park in Craster via an opening behind the Tourist Information building. There are two further access points at the southern end of the reserve and from the west via a public footpath but these are by kissing gate which may not be suitable for people with special access needs. Please contact NWT for further information.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

24/7/365

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

The reserve, an old quarry, is within Craster Heugh, an outcrop of the Whin Sill (a tabular layer of the igneous rock dolerite in County Durham and Northumberland) that provides an important habitat for both migrant and breeding birds. The Sill tracks north from here to provide the vantage point for Dunstanburgh Castle a mile up the coast. The economic importance of the Whin Sill is apparent from the large quarry housing the car park behind the reserve as well as the smaller quarry within the site itself.

The maturing woodland, together with its coastal location makes the reserve a vital resting point for many winter migrants; a first call on the journey across the North Sea. Breeding bird species include sedge and willow warblers, chiffchaff and blackcap. Amongst the migrants, a number of rarities have been recorded including wryneck, icterine, reed and barred warblers, redbreasted flycatcher and bluethroat. The reserve is a moulting site for lesser redpolls. The woodland and scrub includes sycamore, ash, elm, Scots pine, elder and gorse with willow fringing the stream. Below the crags grow foxgloves, wood sage and lesser periwinkle, amongst other species. At the streamside are meadowsweet and water avens. There are patches of bracken and rosebay willowherb marking the sites of former gardens.

Contact us

Northumberland Wildlife Trust
Contact number: (0191) 284 6884
Contact email: mail@northwt.org.uk