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 Good39
- PetiteParisienne1erDurham, United KingdomTrip Type:Friends getawayExcellent customer service with a smile!Sunday, 15th August 2021Excellent customer service with a smile. They offer great gluten free selections. I had a bacon sandwich with egg and cheese, it was lovely! The have ringtone tea, our favourite and a great gluten... Read full review
- sheila gHoughton-le-Spring, United KingdomLovelyTuesday, 14th December 2021This is a lovely area to enjoy any time of year. Nice easy walks with good wheelchair access. The visitor centre has a small shop, cafe and toilets. Well worth joining the Durham Wildlife Trust to... Read full review
- 16martindDurham, United KingdomTrip Type:FamilyA lovely place for a little family walkSaturday, 5th March 2022We went for a family visit with our two young boys (1 and 4). They both loved exploring the paths and seeing the birds. Free maps of leaflets at the visitor centre were very helpful. The paths are... Read full review
|2022 (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)|
* Car park barriers now open from 9.30 – 4.30 – Visitor Centre, office and café still closed.