NOTICE: We're operating winter opening hours for the reserve now - see below for more information.
Know before you go
We are sorry but no dogs other than guide and assistance dogs are permitted at the Wildlife Discovery centre or on Hauxley nature reserve. Research has shown that even just the presence of dogs disturbs the wildlife.
When to visit
Opening timesWinter opening: Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre and reserve is open daily from 09:00 to 17:00. Please note we will lock the car park 17:00.
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
The reserve has recently been extensively remodelled and extended, and the latest addition, the new eco-friendly Wildlife Discovery Centre, has been a labour of love constructed by an army of dedicated volunteers. Believe it or not, it really is a straw-bale building and has a number of other highly innovative ‘green’ features that make it an appropriate home for a Wildlife Trust team.
The reserve attracts a wide variety of birds from tree sparrow, reed bunting and bull finch to coot, moorhen and curlew. Spring and autumn boost our bird sightings and we regularly see 140 bird species in a year. You might even see our red squirrels, stoats and otters.
Visitors over the summer will see some fabulous flowers including viper’s bugloss, bloody cranesbill and northern marsh orchid. These attract a large variety of butterflies such as the common blue and wall brown. We also get dragonflies and damselflies on the ponds, including the common hawker and the common darter.
Hauxley Nature Reserve was originally part of Radcliffe open-cast mine but was purchased by Northumberland Wildlife Trust in 1983 and transformed into the haven for wildlife you see today.
There’s lots to do here:
- A new circular walk and 1 fully accessible trail to 2 accessible hides.
- 6 hides, including a members’ only hide, which give you a great opportunity to quietly observe a host of birds
- A wildlife sightings board in Reception which is updated daily, so make sure you add yours!
- There’s a rubbing disc trail – pick up a booklet/crayon from The Lookout Café (cost £1).
- There’s a natural play area, great for under 10s.
- We run family events and activities during school holidays and some weekends– check our ‘Events’ pages or posters around the building.
- The Lookout Café serves a range of snacks and refreshments including delicious cakes, freshly brewed coffee, and our famous scones in a fabulous setting – the views across the lake and the Bay are soul food!
- The shop has gifts and pocket money mementos – it all helps support NWT.
- Volunteering – come and help us in the café, welcoming visitors or carrying out practical conservation. Click here for all the latest roles.
- We've also got a great range of learning opportunities through our adult learning workshops.