Questions about Trust reserves


Questions about Trust reserves

Questions about Trust reserves

On this page you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about reserves. If they don't answer your query, please feel free to contact us by email or call us on (0191) 284 6884.

How do I get to your reserves?

Visit our Nature Reserve page to see all UK Wildlife Trust reserves on an interactive map. On each individual reserve page, there is information about how to get there, parking and access information and what wildlife to spot. 

Do I need a permit to enter any of your reserves?

Most of our reserves are open to the public, but some do have restrictions. While we encourage enjoyment of our reserves, some of our more sensitive or difficult to access sites are closed to the public:

Barrow Burn Wood: managed in association with Defence Estates and Northumberland National Park Authority. A public footpath leads past the reserve; please contact the Trust office for details on access into the site.

Bell Crag Flow: a Forestry Commission permit is required for vehicle access to the site.

Harbottle Crags: open access through the site but do not pass the MOD signs at the reserve boundary.

Grindon Lough: no on-site access.

Little Harle: access only to Trust members (carry your membership card).

Prestwick Carr: no on-site access, although it can be views from the road to the North.

Mill Burn: no formal access onto the site.

Can I film on your reserves?

Our reserves may be used for location filming but individuals need to contact the Trust for details of the location fee via

Which of your sites are best for bird watching?

Druridge Bay is a great spot for bird watching, with several hides available and a number of reserves in the immediate area including our new Wildlife Discovery Centre at HauxleyBig Waters, being closer to Newcastle, is an ideal spot for a variety of birds whereas Bakethin, in Kielder Forest, is a more remote location with some fascinating woodland birds. Our Bakethin reserve now benefits from a new wildlife viewing hide situated about ½ a mile along the Lakeside Way on the South Shore, which offers a wonderful opportunity to view the reserve’s wildlife from a unique and attractive waterside viewpoint with dual vantage points across the water and into the forest.

Which reserves are suitable for people with disabilities?

NWT does its best to make its reserves as accessible as possible but, by their very nature, many of them have uneven surfaces, steep slopes, gates and stiles. Certain reserves have been specifically improved to provide at least partial disabled access and these include Hauxley, West Fleetham, Linton Lane, Big Waters, Bakethin, St Nicholas Park and Weetslade Country Park.

Can I take my dog to Trust reserves?

Dogs are welcome on most of our nature reserves providing they are on a lead and kept under control with the exception of Big Waters and Hauxley which are guide dogs only.

We're sorry, but to protect the wildlife, dogs are not allowed at Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre.

Please be aware there may be grazing animals and ground-nesting birds, so do not allow your dog to disturb these. If we temporarily do not allow dogs to access our reserves for a specific reason, signs will be displayed locally.

Is there any charge for visiting your reserves if I am not a member?

All our reserves are free of charge to the general public, but we are a charity and rely on donations and membership to continue our work, and keep our nature reserves well maintained. We hope, following a visit to one of our sites, you will choose to join us and find out more about the wildlife conservation work we do.

How do I get into the locked wildlife hides at Big Waters, Holywell Pond and Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre?

Hides at these sites are only available to NWT members. Members can purchase a hide key for Big Waters and Holywell for £10 by contacting us on (0191) 284 6884. Members should request a unique code for access to the member's hide at Hauxley from the Wildlife Discovery Centre team.

Can I bring a group or tour party to your reserves?

In many cases we will be happy to allow access to groups, however there may be reasons why a group visit would not be appropriate on a particular site or at a specific time, perhaps because of conflicts with management activity for example. Please contact us on (0191) 284 6884 if you wish to discuss whether a visit by your group is appropriate to the reserve at that time.

I’d like to report an overhanging and/or potentially dangerous trees on a Trust reserve. How do I contact you?

You'll need to talk to the relevant member of our team responsible for the particular nature reserve. Please call us on (0191) 284 6884 or email us and we'll direct your query to the appropriate member of staff.

How do I report a sighting?

Visit our Wildlife Sightings page for more information on key species and who needs to know about them.