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 Good33
- RICHIE--JARROWJarrow, United KingdomTrip Type:Friends getawayDog friendly cafeSunday, 18th August 2019The meadows cafe has a nice selection of scones and cakes also meals available of the menu. A nice rest stop after a walk . The staff are great and clear tables quickly. There are a few walks... Read full review
- Paul FChesterfield, United KingdomTrip Type:Solo travelLunch in a lovely cafeFriday, 13th September 2019I was on business and needed somewhere to stop for refreshments and found this lovely place. It's cafe is nestled within a lovely nature reserve which I didn't have the time to explore. The cafe is... Read full review
- Trish331Sunderland, United KingdomTrip Type:Solo travelDog friendly with good coffeeTuesday, 24th September 2019A loverly little coffee shop to visit after a walk with very good coffee and light bites. Very clean and quick service with friendly staff and is also dog friendly too which is a bonus 😊 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