Attenborough Nature Centre and Reserve

Attenborough Centre NottsWT cpt Robert Mackin

Robert Mackin

Attenborough Nature Reserve and Centre

Reserve map


Works Bridge Closure Update May 2024

The Trust recognises and apologises for the continued inconvenience and frustration to visitors, supporters and residents resulting from the closure of the bridge and continued suspension of bridleway access.  

A year on from the unexpected closure of the Works Bridge on safety grounds, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is keen to update stakeholders about progress and to reiterate our long-term commitment to reopening the Bridleway served by the bridge. 

Last month members of the Trust’s Senior Leadership Team attended a public meeting hosted by Broxtowe Borough Councillors to provide residents with an update.  We confirmed that a range of options for a new bridge, embankment or causeway (otherwise known as a bund) were being investigated with input from specialist engineering and construction companies. However, due to issues including difficulty of access, the site’s protected status – requiring rigorous environmental impact assessments - and concerns over increased scale and frequency of flooding, the estimated costs for the replacement have, to date, been prohibitively high.  

These technical challenges had also limited the number of potential contractors willing to provide estimates for the work but despite the challenges and significant costs involved, the Trust remains committed to restoring the Public Rights of Way and is in regular contact with Nottinghamshire County Council’s Rights of Way Team. Following suggestions from a range of stakeholders we are also exploring whether the Ministry of Defence may be able to provide any assistance due to the proximity of Chetwynd Barracks. The Trust also remains in regular contact with local councillors from both the Borough & County Council and with the MP for Broxtowe Darren Henry’s office.  

We are fully aware that many people are frustrated at a seeming lack of progress and recognise that people wish to see the Bridleway reinstated as soon as possible, but this is significant and complex challenge that will require considerable resources to resolve. The challenging nature of the site means that there is sadly no quick fix that would guarantee visitors safety.  

Whilst we’ve not been able to make move things forward as swiftly as some would like, we have now made real progress in terms of narrowing down our construction options - but given the scale of funding required we still have work to do to ensure we can restore Bridleway access permanently whilst delivering value to our supporters and funding partners.  

As a charity with limited resources, we have a responsibility to find a cost-effective long-term solution that does not compromise our ability to protect and care for the whole of the nature reserve and other sites in our care.  

We recognise that more could be done to keep stakeholders informed and in addition to updates on our website and in the Nature Centre we plan to update the signage in the vicinity of and on the approaches to the Bridge. We will also continue to provide updates to local elected representatives.

Wildlife Hides Jan 2023

The hide code system has changed as of January 2023. The access code will now only be available from the nature centre. 

The Delta Hide is currently closed.

Works Bridge Closure Update 5/12/23

Back in April, a safety inspection commissioned as part of our commitment to look after the reserve and its access infrastructure found serious structural failings and the bridge as deemed unsafe and beyond repair. These findings came as a shock to the Trust given that we had worked to ensure that the previous owners, CEMEX, commissioned repairs and reopened the structure following a lengthy closure in 2019. We bought the site in December 2020 in good faith on the understanding that the bridge was fit for purpose following these repairs.   

We recognise and are sorry that the unexpected closure of the bridge has caused further disruption to residents and visitors – but our priority must be public safety.   

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is committed to fully reopening the public footpath and bridleway but due to the scale and complexity of the work involved this is not something we can achieve quickly.  Professional estimates to replace the Works Bridge suggest we will need to raise in the region of £500,000 to cover all associated costs.

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Severn Trent Water Works 13/11/23

STW will be carrying out essential works on land adjacent to Attenborough Nature Reserve from Monday 13th November. Access to the work site will be along the Sailing Club access track (accessed through the small overflow car park off Barton Lane) and Erewash Bridge. Access to the main car park and other parts of the nature reserve are not affected, and we will continue to welcome visitors and customers to our shop and cafe as usual. This will result in an increase in construction traffic between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday – with work expected to continue until at least August 2024.

The work is being delivered under the Water Act and we are therefore not in a position to prevent access across our landholding, however we have worked closely with the project management team and the principle contractors to try to minimise the impact of the works on visitors, wildlife and our infrastructure both during and after the completion of work.

Significant construction movement will only take place from Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm (there may be some movement outside of these hours but this will be infrequent and with smaller vehicles), the access track will remain open throughout this time although there could be some temporary disruption when the lorries are marshalled along the track. The overflow car park will remain closed until August 2024 to ensure access for lorries and the gate will marshalled at all times within the stated working hours and they will ensure the vehicle gate is secured at all times, if anyone has vehicle access along the track they should ensure they have the appropriate key to ensure they are not locked in site.  

While the lorries will be escorted along the access track we would ask everyone visiting site to remain vigilant for the construction traffic when accessing Attenborough Nature Reserve and using the sailing club access track. 

Works Bridge Closure & Footpath Diversion from 03/04/23

Map of ANR with diversion/closure

The Works Bridge, near the site of the former aggregates processing area, has been closed to ensure public safety. The bridge, which links Delta Path with the River via the Bund – and also links the Delta Path with Attenborough Village via Works Pond has been closed due to structural defects and footpath diversions are in place. The section of path between the Bridge and the end of The Strand, along the edge of Works Pond, is also closed. We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this unexpected closure and are sorry that visitors may have to take longer routes - but visitor safety is our priority.

The Bridge has been closed following a structural assessment and will remain closed for some considerable time whilst the Trust works up options for resolving issues with a number of Bridges across the reserve. We thank visitors, members and supporters for their patience and understanding.

Read the news article for more information

Avian Flu: advice for visitors

Avian Flu Update for visitors and supporters 31st March 2023

The UK continues to be affected by the largest ever avian flu pandemic, with cases in both farmed and wild birds being recorded across the country.

Whilst we are no longer dealing with a major outbreak, there have been a small number of bird deaths (not sufficient to trigger official testing) recently which we must assume are linked to the epidemic. Our team are working hard to limit the likelihood of further spread and you can help by continuing to not feed the birds. To limit disturbance to wildlife which is already under stress, and to keep pets safe from contact with wild birds, we are also asking that people keep dogs on short leads whilst visiting the reserve.

Avian Flu update for visitors and supporters August 16th 2022

Test results have confirmed that the significant number of recent bird deaths at Attenborough Nature Reserve are the result of an outbreak of Avian Flu.

Managing the outbreak has been extremely stressful for the staff dealing with dead and distressed birds on a daily basis and has also placed additional strain on staff and volunteers dealing with understandably concerned visitors and supporters.

Whilst not over, the impact of the outbreak thankfully seems to be slowing. However, the team remain vigilant and ready to deal with cases. There are a number of common sense steps, such as not feeding the birds and keeping dogs on leads, which visitors can take to help us keep our wildlife and the public safe whilst enjoying this much loved site.

As avian flu has been confirmed on site, visitors are no longer required to report cases of dead birds. However, as we are in the midst of an unprecedented series of outbreaks across the UK, people should continue to use the DEFRA helpline (03459 33 55 77) to report possible cases elsewhere.

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust would like to thank visitors and supporters for their continued support at this stressful time. We would also like to thank our Local MP Darren Henry and his office for their assistance in speeding up the response from DEFRA at a key stage during the incident. More information can be read on our Avian Flu page.

Avian Flu

Avian Flu Update for visitors and supporters August 1st 2022

Since the turn of the year the UK has been dealing with an unprecedented number of Avian Flu cases - with restrictions affecting domestic birds and worrying reports of impacts on wild birds.

In recent months there have been several confirmed cases in domestic and commercial poultry locally and a number of parks and nature reserves across Nottinghamshire and neighbouring counties have sadly experienced outbreaks.

Suspected outbreak at Attenborough Nature Reserve–July 2022

Over the past 10 days we have been dealing with a suspected outbreak of Avian Flu. Our team has dealt with over 150 dead birds so far, though numbers seem to be slowing.

Whilst we are still awaiting confirmation from DEFRA that we are dealing with Avian Flu, we are taking the situation extremely seriously.

Read more information from DEFRA

Our team are collecting carcasses and dealing with distressed birds as quickly as possible – but please be aware that there may be some unavoidable delays due to the size of the reserve, number of birds affected and the availability of trained staff and equipment such as boats.

We have also fenced off the approach to the Nature Centre (which remains open) as a precaution to discourage bird feeding and limit opportunities for contact between birds and people.

This incident has been traumatic for everyone connected with the reserve and we would like to thank visitors and the wider community for their support, patience and understanding and at this difficult time.

There are a number of ways you can help at this difficult time:

Advice, more information and how to report dead birds

Changes to Angling at Attenborough Nature Reserve

Following the decision by Nottinghamshire Anglers Association (NAA) not to renew their option on the fishing rights at Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, on 31st May 2022, announced a 12 month suspension of all fishing permits at the site. (As no new arrangement has yet been agreed, the suspension is still in place)

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, a registered charity, has a longstanding policy of not allowing angling on land for which it holds the angling rights. These rights transferred to the Trust when the land was purchased in December 2020. However, due to the long working relationship with NAA, the Trust was open to renewing the arrangement subject to a reduction in the number of fishing spots or ‘pegs' - in keeping with the charity’s objectives of managing the reserve, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, to enhance its wildlife value. We respect NAA’s decision not to renew the agreement on new terms and would like to thank to them for their support and cooperation over many years.

We understand that this decision will bring disappointment to anglers who have regularly fished at the reserve, but ask all anglers to respect the suspension and refrain from fishing until further notice. During the coming period the Trust will be undertaking work along the banks of the lakes and ponds to allow bankside habitat to regenerate, to benefit wildlife. The pause will also give time to consider options for the future.

Dogs on nature reserves

We love dogs, but wildlife isn’t as keen!

So please keep dogs on leads at all times across our nature reserves, especially around livestock and ground nesting birds, where we ask that you keep dogs under close control.

We welcome well-behaved owners and their dogs in our visitor centre but please be considerate to those who are less confident around dogs.

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Attenborough Nature Reserve was established in 1966 and was opened by Sir David Attenborough. This much loved, nationally important site is best known for its birds with over 250 species recorded, but also provides a home for hundreds of species of plant and insects. It is cited as one of the best places in the UK to see kingfisher and is also home to rare wildlife including bitterns and otters. The reserve attracts around 500,000 visitors each year and holds a special place in the hearts of many – with families having visited for three generations.

See our vision for Attenborough Nature Reserve

David Attenborough opening Attenborough Nature Centre in 2005

David Attenborough opening Attenborough Nature Centre in 2005

"Everybody needs to have a lifeline to the natural world, and as our towns and villages become larger, they’re becoming increasingly hard to find…the survival and flourishing of places like this demands continuous work and attention."

Sir David Attenborough (talking about Attenborough Nature Reserve)

Wildlife to see at Attenborough

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