New bus service launching this summer, with access to WWT Slimbridge. Find out more.

Close alert

Nature reserve

Outside the fox proof fence lies a wild area of land managed by Slimbridge’s wardens. This huge area encompasses the grasslands to the shores of the Severn estuary and is a haven for wildlife.


The reserve provides shelter and food for flocks of swans, geese and ducks in the winter and is an ideal breeding ground for waders in the summer months.

Slimbridge’s reserve is a great place to see rare birds from all over the world. In the summer take a Wild Safari or visit one of our hides and you may see hobby, kingfishers, redshank, brown hares, dragonflies, wild otters, grass snakes and wild orchids.

It's also home to up to 35,000 wildfowl in the winter.

The reserve covers over 325 hectares and its wetlands have international protection including a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Ramsar site and a Special Protection Area. You can see the different areas of the reserve by downloading the map below.

Download reserve map

Don’t miss

  • The amazing spectacle of 30,000 wintering waterfowl, including wheeling flocks of lapwing and golden plover.
  • The winter wild bird feeds which can see over 100 wild Bewick`s swans up close plus you can listen to a commentary, whilst they are fed.
  • Close up views of colourful and often rare wading birds as they pass through on migration during the spring and autumn.
  • Getting up close to breeding birds - especially ducks, geese and swans, as well as elegant avocet and lapwings.
  • Spotting a kingfisher, between April and July - head to the Kingfisher Hide to hopefully catch them in action.
  • Colourful carpets of flowers from April to October, including spectacular orchids and the very rare grass-poly.
  • The best site in the country for seeing the rare and spectacular crane, at any time of year.