East Chevington - Steven Morris

East Chevington. Image by: Steven Morris.

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. 

A large reserve with developing wildlife interest, comprising two large lakes with fringing reedbeds, grassland and recently planted woodland.

Location

Near Red Row
Druridge Bay
Northumberland

OS Map Reference

NZ 270 990
A static map of East Chevington

Know before you go

Size
184 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Parking is available on site by following the small unclassified road from opposite the Red Row turning. Further parking is available at the Country Park (charge applies). Please do not block gates into fields.

Grazing animals

The site is grazed by sheep and Highland cattle.

Walking trails

There is a network of designated routes on site and there are several hides dotted around the lakes. All footpaths are level, well-surfaced and usually over 100cm wide. There is a wide section of boardwalk outside one of the hides, leading to a wider viewing platform over a pond. The woodland walk is over a wide, level gravelled path and the coastal path is gained through a wide latch gate.

Access

The best access is south from Druridge Bay Country Park. After parking in Druridge Bay Country Park follow the coastal footpath south to the reserve. Alternatively, for direct access to the southern end of the reserve park off the ‘Drift Road’.

Dogs

Dogs permitted

Facilities

Bird hides

When to visit

Opening times

24/7/365

Best time to visit

All year round

About the reserve

East Chevington nature reserve lies adjacent to the Druridge Bay Country Park, south of Amble and North of Druridge Pools and Cresswell Pond. This reserve is still developing having been passed to Northumberland Wildlife Trust following opencast restoration in 2003. In addition to the two lakes, Northumberland Wildlife Trust also owns farmland to the west but this is only accessible along marked routes.

The site is considered as one of the best birdwatching sites in the county with large numbers of water birds using the ponds and the margins including terns, water rails and snipe. Spring and autumn see a wide range of migrant birds with large flocks of pink-footed geese overhead. Skylark, stonechat and grasshopper warbler breed on the site and can often be seen around the grassland areas and along the coastal path.

The expansive reedbeds have resulted in reed bunting, reed warbler and bearded tits to breed onsite and bittern to overwinter. Marsh harriers also rely on the reedbeds and first bred here in 2009, the first recording in Northumberland for 130 years. Barn owls and short-eared owls are often seen hunting along the grasslands and passage birds have included osprey and other birds of prey.

East Chevington’s grasslands support a wide range of plants such as dyer's greenweed, bloody, meadow and cut-leaved crane’s bill and bird’s foot trefoil. Five species of orchid can also be found onsite: common spotted, northern marsh, marsh helleborine, bee and lesser butterfly. Two new areas of wildflower meadow were planted last year thanks to the Heritage Lottery funded Catch My Drift project.

Mammals onsite include roe deer, harvest mice, water shrew, stoats and hares. Our smaller pools are home to great crested and smooth newts, with toads and frogs also common. The reserve has a great record of invertebrates. Wall and small heath are among the 21 species of butterflies to be recorded.

Please note there is one locked hide at the entrance to the site which is not accessible to the public as it is for education sessions. There are number of other hides available for public access. There are toilets and a café at the Druridge Bay Country Park (run by Northumberland County Council).

The road that runs through the site is the responsibility of the County Council and not Northumberland Wildlife Trust.  

Contact us

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