Landscape In Amble, Northumberland
A nature reserve at the northern end of Druridge Bay and one of the best wildlife spots in the north east.
Hauxley Nature Reserve or Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre, as it is also known, is a Northumberland Wildlife Trust run nature reserve at the northern end of Druridge Bay and considered one of the best location s in the north east for wildlife watching. Not only can you spot ducks, waders, Kingfishers and Terns but you can also see Roe Deer, Otter and Red Squirrels. What you see will change throughout the seasons so there will always be something new no matter when you choose to visit.
There is ample parking at the reserve and for £2 per day it is good value. The eco-friendly Visitor Centre is right by the car park and there you can find a small display at the entrance along with knowledgeable volunteers who are happy to help out, a café and the all important toilets. The Visitor Centre was actually built by an army of volunteers and is a straw bale building with many “green” features in keeping with such a natural location.
The reserve itself was originally part of the Radcliffe Open Cast Mine and in 1983 it was purchased by Northumberland Wildlife Trust with a view to turn it into the reserve you see today. There are six hides on site and a fully accessible trail which leads to two of those hides meaning there is good access for all. There is an impressive mosaic of habitats on site including wetlands, woodlands, grasslands and coupled with its proximity to the beach make it home to a huge variety of species.
The reserve may look familiar to you, particularly if you are a fan of the BBC's Springwatch series, as they spent four days broadcasting from the reserve. It is a great place to go with younger members of the family as there is a rubbing trail around the site as well as a natural play area and the chance to see Red Squirrels in the car park.
It is easy to spend a good few hours here and the site also links via a footpath from the car park to Druridge Bay itself allowing you to carry on your walk along the coast to the nearby Druridge Ponds and East Chevington Nature Reserves.
Another of the fascinating things you can see at Hauxley Nature Reserve is a Bronze Age cist which is located just outside the Visitor Centre. It was exposed by a cliff collapse nearby and a stone lined coffin within it was found to contain a skeleton of a male dating back to 1700BC. The stones were re-built at Hauxley in 1984 and they were then moved to their current location in 2017.
Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre runs a packed programme of activities and events throughout the year including bird walks, bat evenings, optical equipment sale weekends and much more, so keep an eye out on their website for more information.
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Head out of the parking area towards the discovery centre building which serves as the entrance to the site.
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There is parking on site with a £2 charge for all day.
Contributed by Andrew Gardner
I love being outdoors, in nature, and experiencing the relaxation it brings. Wandering through the northern countryside seeing unexpected buildings, historic places and occasionally surprised wildlife is one of life's great pleasures.
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