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 our 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

Addison & Hedgefield Nature Reserve

The woodland was once a thriving colliery and village, now 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. an impressive veteran oak tree thought to be over four hundred years old, is situated at the northern end of the site.

Barlow Burn Nature Reserve

Several blocks of woodland with disused sand quarry habitats including ponds and grasslands. Bog Wood has rich and diverse ground flora unique in Gateshead.

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 with a scattering of oak and other broadleaf trees.

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. Dragonflies are abundant in the summer months

Chopwell Meadows Nature Reserve

Located to the west of Chopwell, these grasslands occupy part of the former Chopwell Colliery and was managed by Gateshead Council until 2014.

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.

Herrington Hill

One of the few remnants of very rare primary species rich magnesian limestone grasslands with all the classic indicator species that define this globally rare plant community.

Hawthorn Dene Nature Reserve

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

Hedleyhope Fell Nature Reserve

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

Hesleden Dene Nature Reserve

Hesleden Dene Nature Reserve’s name derives from ‘hesle’, a corruption of ‘hazel’ which 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 when the Trust took over the management of the reserve.

Kelloe Field Nature Reserve

One of the few remnants of species rich magnesian limestone grasslands with an area of limestone fen in the low lying areas to the south.

Lamesley Pastures Nature Reserve

One of the few undeveloped river floodplains in the area, the site contains two designated Local Wildlife Sites. A home for wading birds such as lapwing, curlew, redshank and snipe.

Longburnford Quarry Nature Reserve

This reserve hosts the small pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, County Durham’s rarest butterfly. The Common lizard can also be seen.

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. The site is dominated by oak and ash.

Rabbitbank Wood Nature Reserve

This varied site consists of oak woodland, marsh, willow carr and species rich wet pasture with a wide range of woodland birds and mammals.

Ragpath Heath Nature Reserve

The single, old juniper tree and areas of cross-leaved heath, heather and bilberry and sphagnum mosses 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

Our smallest nature reserve with a range of fen vegetation types not found at any other site in County Durham including basic flush fen meadow, reedbed and willow carr.

Shibdon Meadow Nature Reserve

Shibdon Meadow is the last substantial traditionally managed herb-rich permanent pasture in this part of the Tyne Valley managed by Gateshead Council until 2014.

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 in High Spen. The site is inaccessible 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. Peat bogs make a massive contribution in the fight against climate change as they store carbon.

The Whinnies

This former iron works site is now an attractive 5 hectare Local Nature Reserve situated between the famous Darlington to Stockton railway line and the A67

Town Kelloe Bank Nature Reserve

Town Kelloe Bank has a unique and very distinctive landscape with diverse flora and fauna shaped by the last ice age located in glacial lake meltwater channel system.

Trimdon Grange Nature Reserve

This abandoned quarry provides magnesian limestone flora, complimented by mature hawthorn scrub and developing ash woodland which is great for woodland birds.

Tudhoe Mill Nature Reserve

This woodland reserve occupies the site of the former Tudhoe Mill drift mine. Home to numerous woodland birds plus a variety of butterfly species.

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 formerly managed by Gateshead Council.