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.
Avian Flu: advice for visitors
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 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.
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:
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 have today, 31st May 2022, announced a 12 month suspension of all fishing permits at the site.
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
"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)