About Newport Wetlands Nature Reserve

Tucked between the city of Newport and the Severn estuary lies one of the newest and most distinctive nature reserves in Wales.

The Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve has over 58 Hectares of reedbeds which is a very scarce but important habitat. Made on old fly-ash lagoons from the nearby coal fired power stations 20 years ago with the aim to provide habitat for bitterns to breed in.

Bitterns are a rare type of heron that live exclusively in reedbeds and their camouflage is amazing. They hunt fish, amphibians and small mammals along the edge of the reeds – the more ‘edge’ you have in the reedbeds, the more habitat you have for bitterns to hunt. The dawn chorus at Newport Wetlands is incredible and the hour before dawn is the most magical time of day.

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 and other wildlife.

In winter there are the largest flocks of birds - look out for merlin and peregrine falcons when the lapwing flock is startled. 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.
Autumn is the best time of year for birdwatching at Newport Wetlands when migratory wildfowl and wading birds begin to arrive.

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.

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.

Facilities include:
Disabled parking, toilets and 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

Location

51.5485268, -2.949183

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