Low Barnes Nature Reserve
Landscape Bishop Auckland County Durham

Low Barnes Nature Reserve

Landscape In Bishop Auckland, County Durham

A 47 hectare nature reserve near Witton le Wear created on an area of former sand and gravel quarry and sewerage treatment works.

Low Barnes Nature Reserve, near to Witton-le-Wear, Bishop Auckland, is one of the north east's most important wildlife sites due to its wide ranging mosaic of habitats including wetlands, reed beds, mixed woodlands, the River Wear and species rich grasslands. Managed by Durham Wildlife Trust (DWT) the reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is home to a wide variety of birds, mammals, plants and insects.

Looking at Low Barnes Nature Reserve today you would probably find it hard to believe that it was originally an area of farmland which was then used for sand and gravel extraction until 1964. Following this the site was given over to DWT who restored it to a nature reserve. The site has also been home to a sewerage treatment works, and in 2003 this was removed and replaced with a new reed bed habitat and boardwalk for public access.

The site, which is 47 hectares in size, comprises three lakes with interconnecting watercourses, a number of ponds, reed beds, woodlands, grasslands and a wet pasture which help to support large numbers of wildfowl, including overwintering Whooper Swans, Bitterns and waders, as well as smaller wildlife such as amphibians, butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies. If you are really lucky you might see a Kingfisher, Otter or Tawny Owl.

There are a number of accessible bird hides around the reserve which are open to all visitors during formal opening hours and if you are a member of DWT you can purchase a key that allows access out of hours too.

Low Barns Nature Reserve is relatively flat terrain and has a good network of surfaced paths that link the hides allowing access for those of limited mobility. There is a visitor centre on site where you can purchase teas, coffees and cakes as well as local crafts. Most importantly there are toilet facilities too. The centre also includes a purpose built classroom for school parties.

The Visitor Centre is open daily from 10am - 5pm between April and October and from 10am - 4pm at weekends from November to March. Low Barns Nature Reserve is signposted from the A689 between Crook and Bishop Auckland and from the village of Witton-le-wear, on the A68 between Darlington and Consett.

  Add To Bucket List   I Have Visited This Place

Get 3 points if you have visited this place. Already visited by 45 VIPs.

Login to the VIP area to add places to your bucket list, mark them as visited and more importantly see where you rank on the league table.

How To Find Low Barnes Nature Reserve

Where Is Low Barnes Nature Reserve?

Show Place On Google Maps

Lat / Long

54.677838, -1.751796

What three words

surpassed.ducks.release

Where To Park For Low Barnes Nature Reserve?

Show Parking On Google Maps

Lat / Long

54.678188, 54.678188

What three words

shoulders.angers.dumps

There is a small car park on site.

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.

More Places from Andrew
Andrew Gardner

More Places In Bishop Auckland

Find more fabulous places in Bishop Auckland, County Durham and if you know of a place we haven't listed, then let us know.

Auckland Castle
Auckland Castle
Castle Bishop Auckland County Durham

Castle dating back to the 17th century and home to the bishops of Durham.

Spanish Gallery and Mining Art Gallery
Spanish Gallery and Mining Art Gallery
Museum Bishop Auckland County Durham

Two fantastic galleries in the heart of Bishop Auckland.

Auckland Tower
Auckland Tower
Building Bishop Auckland County Durham

A tower based on a siege engine amongst eclectic buildings

More Landscapes

So this landscape wasn't enough and you want more? Don't worry we have you covered.

Elemore Park
Elemore Park
Landscape Houghton-le-Spring Tyne And Wear

Former golf course with far reaching scenic views, a café with a model of an early steam engine by Stephenson.

Hauxley Nature Reserve
Hauxley Nature Reserve
Landscape Amble Northumberland

A nature reserve at the northern end of Druridge Bay and one of the best wildlife spots in the north east.

St. Abbs
St. Abbs
Landscape Eyemouth Borders

A quaint little fishing village set around old fishermen's cottages and spectacular jagged cliffs - Also twinned with New Asgard!

Never Miss A Fabulous Place

If you are afraid of missing out on all the fabulous places we post, or just want to be the first to know, then sign up to the Fabulous North.

Each week we will email you all the brand new places that we visit.

Sign Up To Alerts
Sign up to newsletter
Fabulous North On Facebook

Find Us On Facebook

We post all our new places daily on our Facebook Groups page, so join the group today and be notified when we add a new place.

Join Our Facebook Group

Low Barnes Nature Reserve was listed in Landscape // County Durham // Bishop Auckland