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 Good35
- paulinebF1179ERChester-le-Street, United KingdomTrip Type:Friends getawaygreat for walks, photography and a coffeeThursday, 2nd January 2020great place for walk. lovely cafe good for walks photography and wildlife. there are walking groups you can join on Tuesday mornings. Read full review
- Ceejay2006Trip Type:CouplesWalkTuesday, 7th January 2020The Rainton Meadows is lovely to walk around. The only reason it is not 5 stars is the footpaths to get to the meadows. They are not looked after and are muddy, even flooded in places. Read full review
- 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
|Season (1 Jan 2019 - 31 Dec 2020)|
|Monday - Sunday||10:00||- 16:30|
* The Coffee Shop is open from 10-16:00