Visitor Centres


Durham Wildlife Trust operates two visitor centres. Each of our visitor centres are places in which you can relax, enjoy some refreshments and learn about and experience some of the magnificent wildlife found throughout our region.

Our visitor centres are bases for our conservation and education work, providing people of all ages with a chance to get involved and to help protect their local wildlife.

Volunteers are essential to the running of our visitor centres. If you would like to get involved please call us on 0191 584 3112 or get in touch via our volunteering page.

Low Barns Nature Reserve

  • Low Barns Nature Reserve
  • Witton-le-Wear
  • Bishop Auckland
  • Co. Durham
  • DL14 0AG
  • 0191 584 3112
  • Access: 9.30 am – 4.00 pm
  • Coffee Shop: 9.30 am – 4.00 pm

Low Barns is a valuable wetland reserve and one of County Durham’s most important wildlife sites, located adjacent to the River Wear.

The reserve has become important for wildlife due to the wide range of habitats including wet woodland, grassland, open water and river side, which are home to many different types of birds, mammals, plants and insects.

The visitor centre has a coffee shop that sells light refreshments, books, gifts, locally made bird boxes and a full range of bird food and feeders from Vine House Farm. Logs and charcoal produced sustainably by Durham Wildlife Trust are also available.

The centre and bird hides provide a wealth of information on how Low Barns was created and the wildlife that it supports. Screens in the centre show images from the bird feeding station and bird boxes around the site.

Visitors are welcome to make use of our mobility scooter. To book the mobility scooter please call us on 0191 584 3112

Click here for more information on Low Barns Nature Reserve

Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve

  • Rainton Meadows
  • Chilton Moor
  • Houghton-le-Spring
  • Tyne & Wear
  • DH4 6PU
  • 0191 584 3112
  • Access: 9.30am – 4.30pm
  • Coffee Shop: 10 am – 4 pm
  • WildPlay: 10 am – 4 pm

Our Rainton Meadows Visitor Centre is set within 74 hectares of woodland, wetland and grassland habitats, all of which are linked through an excellent network of accessible pathways and viewing areas.

The centre has a WildPlay area for children and the wonderful Meadows Coffee Shop, both of which are open from 10 am – 4 pm seven days a week.

A classroom and meeting rooms are available for hire.

Escape for a few hours of tranquillity, enjoy a leisurely stroll in the peace and quiet. Catch a glimpse of our wildlife and enjoy a hot drink and some refreshments in The Meadows Coffee Shop.

Click here for more information on Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve