**Car park barriers now open. The coffee shop is now open as a takeaway service every day from 10am - 4pm. The toilets are also open. The Visitor Centre remains closed.**
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:
- Travelers Choice 2020
- Very Good38
- 167SteveB167Trip Type:FamilyLovely nature reserveSunday, 25th October 2020Had a lovely morning walking around this nature reserve with my young children. It has been over ten years since I last visited and was really impressed by how lovely the site has become. There... Read full review
- Michael OSouth ShieldsDOGS! DOGS! DOGS!Thursday, 5th November 2020I was a member of DWT but the place is now just overun by dog walkers or should I say dogs. I wrote to the DWT secretary who sympathised and agreed to a great extent but the trust is powerless to... Read full review
- MissAmyLouiseLambNewcastle upon Tyne, United KingdomTrip Type:CouplesPerfect lockdown walkSunday, 3rd January 2021Beautiful place for a stroll around. There are many different routes to take of all different lengths. There are lakes, woodlands and areas to look out for birds. Beware if your planning on going in... Read full review
|2021 (1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021)|
* Car park barriers now open from 9.30 – 4.30 – Visitor Centre, office and café still closed.