Tucked between the city of Newport and the Severn estuary lies one of the newest and most distinctive nature reserves in Wales.
Part of the tranquil Gwent Levels, Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve is made up of a diverse range of low-lying habitats.
This nature reserve offers a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city covering over 438 hectares from Uskmouth to Goldcliff, the reedbeds, saline lagoons, wet grassland and scrub,
have attracted a wealth of wetland birds.
The reserve is also an excellent place to see other wildlife.
Cetti's warblers and bearded tits can be seen and heard in the reedbeds, and ducks, geese and swans visit the reserve in large numbers during the winter.
In summer, you will be able to enjoy the reserve’s plant life in all its glory. Orchids are abundant, look out for the rarer shrill carder bee amongst the everlasting pea flowers.
Walk over to the saline lagoons and you will encounter a quite different habitat. This is the only breeding site in Wales for the avocet, a long-legged wading bird
with a distinctive upwardly curving beak.
Autumn is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive.
In winter there are the largest flocks of birds - look out for merlin and peregrine falcons when the lapwing flock is startled.
Newport Wetlands is a partnership between Natural Resources Wales, Newport City Council and the RSPB.
The RSPB manage the Environmental Education and Visitor Centre which is open every day (except Christmas Day) free of charge.
The centre includes space for group and family activities, conference facilities, a large retail area and a Fairtrade/organic coffee shop.
There is a seven kilometre network of re-surfaced paths around the Uskmouth reedbeds.
Five of the reedbeds have viewing screens across the deepwater channels. One reedbed has a raised viewing platform and one has a raised bird hide.
A floating pontoon forms a direct route to the East Usk Lighthouse which is over 120 years old.
All of paths around the Uskmouth reedbeds are accessible to wheelchairs and there are benches approximately every 100 metres.
The paths are level with some gentle slopes and a zig-zag ramp to climb the five metres up to the raised reedbed levels.
wheelchair access to the visitor centre and café.
three electric mobility scooters to hire, free of charge (contact the RSPB centre to book).
viewing screens and a hide with wheelchair spaces
From M4 Junction 24 take the A48 west and then follow the brown duck signs to the Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve car park.
From M4 Junction 28 take the A48 east and then follow the brown duck signs.
The car park is on the West Nash road, just before the entrance to the Uskmouth Power Station.
Sustrans National Cycle Route 4 has a branch to Newport Wetlands using cycle paths and quiet roads. There is a covered cycle stand in the car park.
The nearest train station is Newport.
The OS grid ref is ST 334 834