Know before you go
Parking informationThere is roadside car parking at the adjacent National Trust Druridge Links site
Grazing animalsThe site is grazed, typically by cattle.
There are access points leading to a screen overlooking the southern fields and along the public right of way through the centre of the site. The terrain is level and flat, but paths can be wet and muddy.
Access is from a minor road running alongside Druridge Links and through a wide gap onto a level grass path. A further entrance gives access to a viewing area on another grass path, 400m south, alongside the same minor road. There are two viewing hides, one with level access and one accessed by four steps. There is also a viewing platform at the southern end of the reserve which is accessed by three broad steps.
When to visit
Best time to visitSpring and autumn for birds, summer for wildflowers and butterflies.
About the reserve
A former opencast coal mine, bought from British Coal in 1987, the reserve supports large flocks of wintering wildfowl, mostly wigeon, teal and goldeneye. The deep lake to the north provides an opportunity to catch a glimpse of an otter while wading birds feed along the shores. The two wet fields to the south are very good feeding sites for snipe, redshank and teal, along with occasional rarities, making it a popular location for bird watchers and wildlife photographers alike. These fields are grazed in the autumn and winter to maintain the value of the habitat. A public footpath runs between the lake and fields leading to two bird hides, one facing north and one facing south, then beyond to Chibburn Preceptory.