Home to Durham Wildlife Trust’s headquarters. The visitor centre is open seven days a week from 10am – 4.30pm as is the nature-themed WildPlay area. The centre has a range of facilities including toilets, a classroom, meeting rooms and a coffee shop.
There is an excellent network of accessible pathways linking viewing areas that look across the lakes and wetlands, with areas of grassland and woodland completing the habitats on site.
Although a relatively new site Rainton Meadows has developed into a significant area for wildlife over the last 20 years. The wetlands and grasslands support a wide range of birds and over 200 species have been recorded. Waders such as redshank, oystercatcher, lapwing are regularly seen and also more unusual species such as little ringed plover. All five species of UK owl can be seen at different times of the year and there are good numbers of warblers, finches, tits and farmland birds.
Stoat, weasel, brown hare and roe deer are regularly seen and the wetlands attract numerous dragonflies and damselflies. Butterfly numbers are also high, particularly grassland species.
Native breed cattle are used to naturally manage the grasslands during the winter months (all grazing is within fenced compartments) adding to the interest on site.
Access to Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve and Visitor Centre is free but non-members are asked to make a donation for car parking.
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:
- Very Good36
- steveJ7693FXTrip Type:FamilyNice walkThursday, 9th January 2020Great place with good car park toilets and cafe. Safe well signposted walks for families and rewarded by nice hot chocolate in the nice cafe where there are toilet facilities..... well worth a visit Read full review
- Lynn WHarare, ZimbabweLovely place for walksWednesday, 12th February 2020A great place for walks of various lengths. Great for family walks and walks with a dog. The café is great and there are good toilet facilities. Read full review
- SeasidegoldTrip Type:FamilyStill my favouriteSunday, 1st March 2020Still love this place. It’s great for a walk, a play in the play park then a nice hot chocolate in the cafe. Molly is absolutely fab, our little girls love her. Please don’t go as we won’t be able... Read full review
|Season (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2020)|
|Monday - Sunday||10:00||- 16:30|
* The Coffee Shop is open from 10-16:00