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 Good32
- kevon1153Houghton-le-Spring, United KingdomHandySaturday, 13th April 2019Good for a coffee, bite to eat and a walk around the ponds.Easily acccestable by car or foot. Good place to view migrating birds. Read full review
- LYPudDurham, United KingdomTrip Type:Friends getawayNice lunchTuesday, 16th April 2019Had a nice lunch at the coffee shop. Good choice and service was prompt. Tasty meals at a reasonable price. Walk is nice around the nature reserve although not great for pushchairs in parts... Read full review
- carol55DurhamdurhamTrip Type:Friends getawayLovely birthday treatSunday, 26th May 2019Been to Rainton Meadows walking many times, gorgeous walks and nice to see lake and birds, but on previous visits, felt that it was a shame the coffee shop was poor and really let it down, but not... Read full review
|2019 (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2019)|
|Monday - Friday||09:00||- 16:30|
|Saturday - Sunday||11:00||- 16:30|
* The Coffee Shop is open from 10-16:00