Due to local lockdown restrictions (18/09/20), we ask that you please do not access the hides on our reserves at present as it is too difficult to ensure social distancing. We're sorry for any inconvenience but it is to ensure public safety at this time.
Know before you go
Parking informationPlease use the car park to northern end of the reserve on the costal side of the road. Then walk south 500m on road to Blakemoor Farm track and then follow the footpath to the hide.
Please refer to the access information. In addition, there is a public footpath at the northern end of the reserve.
The gate to the hide is on the right by the first building. Entry is via a wide latch gate, with two small stone steps down onto an earth path. A level path between 50-120cm wide leads to the hide. A boardwalk/ramp leads up to the hide, with a handrail. The terrain is generally flat and even. Please contact NWT for further information if you have special access needs.
When to visit
Best time to visitSpring and autumn
About the reserve
Created as the result of subsidence from old collapsed mine works, the pond’s proximity and connection to the sea means the water is a mix of fresh and salt (brackish), and as such it is an excellent feeding ground for wading birds. It is particularly good during the spring and autumn passage when rarities often occur. Avocets nested here in 2011, the most northerly site in the UK. Large numbers of waterfowl often roost here, with small numbers of greylag and pink-footed geese.
The majority of the site is the lagoon but there are areas of reed bed, two smaller ponds, a path and boardwalk leading down towards a bird hide. Due to the brackish nature of the pond, it is a rare habitat type within Northumberland. The invertebrate species present are part of the reason why the site has been designated an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). The invertebrate community is a mixture of both fresh water species such as Jenkins' spire snail and salt water species, notably sandworms.
The eastern edge of the pond primarily features common reed. Within the pond are two plant communities, submerged plants such as beaked tasselweed and saltmarsh flora, including aster, sea milkwort, sea arrowgrass and common saltmarsh grass.
In the field to the south of the large pond are two smaller fresh water ponds. One of them is dominated by glaucous bulrush and common spike-rush and the other is dominated by branched bur-reed. These ponds have resident populations of moorhens and coots and they provide a very valuable place for passage migrants.