Our Nature Reserves

Durham Wildilfe Trust – Conserving Wildlife From Tees to Tyne

Use the map below to explore our reserves or scroll further down this page to find out more about a particular nature reserve. Please click here if the map below isn’t visible.

All of our nature reserves are visited regularly by DWT staff and volunteers, we work hard to maintain their safety for visitors. However, please exercise caution in poor weather, especially at some of out more exposed reserves. Please contact us if you experience any problems or if there is anything to report.

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Through the support of our members and volunteers we own and manage 35 nature reserves from the Tees to the Tyne. Click on the reserves above or below for more information on a particular nature reserve

Herrington Hill

One of the few remnants of very rare primary species rich magnesian limestone grasslands in the country.

Addison & Hedgefield Nature Reserve

A once thriving colliery, a beautiful example of how nature reclaims land when people and industry moves on.

Baal Hill Nature Reserve

A surviving relic of ancient woodland steeped in heritage.

Barlow Burn Nature Reserve

Several blocks of woodland with disused sand quarry habitats including ponds and grasslands

Bishop Middleham Quarry Nature Reserve

This former magnesian limestone quarry is now a SSSI, recognised nationally for the plant life it supports.

Black Plantation Nature Reserve

A secondary woodland reserve on an ancient woodland site featuring marshy grassland areas of significant botanical interest.

Blackhall Rocks & Cross Gill Nature Reserve

The cliffs and coastal area feature natural exposures of reef-limestone, set down 250 million years ago.

Burnhope Pond Nature Reserve

The main pond was formed as a result of coal mining and is surrounded by grassland and plantation woodland.

Chopwell Meadows Nature Reserve

Located to the west of Chopwell, these grasslands occupy part of the site of the former Chopwell Colliery.

Cross Lane Meadows Nature Reserve

A large area of re-seeded wildflower meadows, formerly arable farming fields, this site is now protected for its wildlife and landscape value.

Edmondsley Wood Nature Reserve

Quietly secluded, this mature deciduous woodland is a mix oak, ash, silver birch, hawthorn, holly, rowan and abundant hazel coppice stools.

Hannah’s Meadow Nature Reserve

This upland hay meadow and a grazing pasture are set within the traditional farming landscape of Teesdale, part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Hawthorn Dene Nature Reserve

A steep-sided ravine which cuts through the magnesian limestone of the Durham Coast. The woodland is characteristic of the area and includes lime-loving species such as elm, ash and large numbers of mature native yew.

Hedleyhope Fell Nature Reserve

One of the largest mid-altitude heathlands remaining in County Durham, Hedleyhope Fell is a mosaic of heather, bilberry, acid grassland, rush pasture, bracken beds, patches of gorse and scattered trees.

Hesleden Dene Nature Reserve

Hesleden Dene’s name derives from ‘hesle’, a corruption of ‘hazel’ hich can be found in abundance alongside ash and wych elm.

High Wood Nature Reserve

Donated to DWT in 1993, High wood is a memorial to the late Harry Collinson, a Derwentside District Officer who died tragically in 1991.

Joe’s Pond

A flooded clay pit which was taken over from the Coal Board, now a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Kelloe Field Nature Reserve

One of the few remnants of species rich magnesian limestone grasslands.

Lamesley Pastures Nature Reserve

One of the few undeveloped river floodplains in the area, Lamesley Pastures contains two designated Local Wildlife Sites.

Longburnford Quarry Nature Reserve

This reserve hosts the small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, County Durham’s rarest butterfly.

Low Barns Nature Reserve

One of our region’s most important wildlife sites, this wetland reserve, bordered by the River Wear, also contains mixed woodlands and species rich grasslands.

Malton Nature Reserve

Although relatively small in size, Malton has a wide variety of habitats, including oak woodland, mature hedgerows, ponds, meadows and scrub.

Milkwellburn Wood Nature Reserve

Formally an ancient semi-natural woodland, the diverse flora and fauna of this ancient oak wood remain in the woods’ steep sided gills.

Rabbitbank Wood Nature Reserve

This varied site consists of oak woodland, marsh, willow carr and species rich wet pasture.

Ragpath Heath Nature Reserve

The single, old juniper tree and areas of cross-leaved heath, heather and bilberry and sphagnum mosses on this reserve show the original heath land character of the wider area.

Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve

Created by the restoration of the Rye Hill Opencast coal mine in 1996 by UK Coal in partnership with Durham Wildlife Trust and the City of Sunderland.

Raisby Hill Grassland Nature Reserve

One of the few remaining examples of primary magnesian limestone grassland left in the country and is of national significance for its flora.

Redcar Field Nature Reserve

A small, fragile wetland which supports a rare type of fen vegetation.

Shibdon Meadow Nature Reserve

Shibdon Meadow is the last substantial traditionally managed herb-rich permanent pasture in this part of the Tyne Valley.

Shibdon Pond Nature Reserve

Shibdon Pond is one of the few large open water bodies left in the southern part of Tyne and Wear and is one of the best wetlands in the region for wintering wildfowl.

Spen Dene Nature Reserve

Spen Dene is a very small secondary woodland on a steep slope next to a housing development in High Spen. The site has no access due to steep slopes and health and safety concerns.

Stanley Moss Nature Reserve

One of the few remaining blanket peat bogs found in the lowlands of County Durham.

Town Kelloe Bank Nature Reserve

Town Kelloe Bank has a unique and very distinctive landscape with diverse flora and fauna.

Trimdon Grange Nature Reserve

This abandoned quarry provides magnesian limestone flora, complimented by mature hawthorn scrub and developing ash woodland

Tudhoe Mill Nature Reserve

This woodland reserve occupies the site of the former Tudhoe Mill drift mine.

Westfield Pasture Nature Reserve

This site is an important component of the Tyne Valley wildlife corridor, which follows the River Tyne from Wylam to Bill Quay.