Whittle Dene

Whittle Dene Hide - Duncan Hutt

Whittle Dene. Image by: Duncan Hutt.

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 collection of small lakes and reservoirs on the Hadrian's Wall Trail attracting rich bird life.


North of Horsley

OS Map Reference

NZ 068 683
A static map of Whittle Dene

Know before you go

16 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Parking is available in the layby on the B6318 Military Rd – walk east along part of the Hadrian’s Wall path for about 250m to access the bird hide.

Walking trails

The Hadrian’s Wall Trail runs along the reserve which is suitable for walkers.


Hadrian’s Wall Trail can be uneven and cause problems for people with specialised access requirements. The bird hide is accessed via a set of steps. Please note that most of the reserve has no public access.


On a lead


Bird hides
Picnic area

When to visit

Opening times


Best time to visit

All year but especially during osprey season (April – September) when the birds have been spotted fishing and soaring overhead.

About the reserve

Whittle Dene reservoirs are part of a water supply system interconnected by streams and aqueducts offering a mosaic of habitats for varied wildlife. The reserve is popular with swallows, swifts, curlew and even the occasional osprey. There is a bird hide overlooking the Great Northern Reservoir and this is accessed from part of Hadrian's Wall Trail, which passes along the southern edge. There is also a tern nesting platform, an unusual inland nesting site, which is visible from the hide. In late spring large numbers of swallows and swifts feed over the surface of the water. The autumn attracts regular visitors such as curlew, common sandpiper, greenshank and big numbers of wildfowl. The site is managed by Northumberland Wildlife Trust in partnership with Northumbrian Water.

Learn more about the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Northumbrian Water Environmental Partnership here.

Contact us

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