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.
- Regional and Miscellaneous Northern Saints Trails Passport 2021
TripAdvisor Traveller Rating:
- Very Good38
- LakeshollyLeyburn, United KingdomTrip Type:Solo travelBedlamSaturday, 6th May 2023Called today and it was absolute bedlam at the entrance as the gates were locked and dozens of people trying to get parked, seem as though it was closed for some Royal event, not everybody wants to... Read full review
- 21ChristyCounty Durham, United KingdomTrip Type:FamilyWhat has gone wrong with the cafeThursday, 25th May 2023Visited with my grandchildren on 20 th May and did not appreciate being told off by the child serving in the cafe. My "crime" was to go inside so that the children could choose their ice cream and... Read full review
- Traveller1999Durham, United KingdomTrip Type:CouplesDogs, neglect and pricesSunday, 20th August 2023Overrun by dogs, particularly beside visitor centre. Although they were on leads, long extendable leads that is, they were snuffling around the tables and chairs and generally making a nuisance of... Read full review
|2023 (1 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023)|
* Car park barriers now open from 9.30 – 4.30