The amazing Watchtree Nature Reserve. Be inspired by nature. Look around Watchtree nature reserve and see for yourself what nature can do even to the most industrial and sparse spaces around us. Watchtree Nature Reserve was created in 2002 on the site of Great Orton Airfield.
The nature reserve makes the best of the former airfield, expect to see the runway, large wind turbines and the old control tower. The concrete laid in 1982 when Watchtree was RAF Great Orton provides a smooth track around the site for easy walking and cycling. Once you reach the reserve, pause to look across the Solway to Scotland, look the other way and enjoy views of the Lake District fells.
The nature reserve has wildflower meadows, woodlands, wetlands and a lake, providing a safe habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. There are three bird hides and, the hide near the North Lagoon wetlands being the best section for bird watching. Regular sightings on the reserve include Roe Deer, Brown Hare, Curlew, Skylark, Great Spotted Woodpecker as well as lots of smaller wild birds and invertebrates.
Watchtree is a great place to learn to cycle, the track previously used by RAF makes for a smooth track around the reserve. Bring your bicycle or hire one at Watchtree. The reserve is a membership organisation and offers over 50% reduction to members. Nevertheless, the cost of the hire of a cycle for non-members of £8 for 90 minutes is competitive. The cycles for hire include those that are adapted for wheelchair users.
Join in a group run on Sunday morning at the reserve. The run sets off at 9:30 am. The route is signposted, for those who might be late or want to run on a different day of the week.
The reserve is open 9 am to 4 pm in the winter and 9 am to 4:45 pm in the summer.
Events at Watchtree Nature Reserve
Events range from foraging to bat nights, check the website for more details. www.watchtree.co.uk