Know before you go
Parking informationParking 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.
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.
When to visit
Best time to visitAll 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.