Attenborough Nature Reserve

Feeding swans outside Attenborough Nature Centre

Chris Terrell Nield

Sand Martin Hide Attenborough
Sunrise Attenborough cpt D Eberlin.

© D Eberlin

A beautiful complex of flooded former gravel pits and islands providing exceptional habitat for a wide range of wildlife.


Barton Lane
Attenborough, Nottingham
A static map of Attenborough Nature Reserve

Know before you go

205 hectares

Entry fee

Free access

Parking information

Car Park Open 9am-8pm, suggested donation £3.

Grazing animals

Sheep and Cattle

Walking trails

There are many nature trails around the reserve including the Tufted duck route, the Skylark trail and the Kingfisher trail. This is a wheelchair friendly site.


There is disabled parking onsite and there are accessible trails around the reserve, that are suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Contact the Trust for more information.


On a lead
Dogs are allowed on the cafe balcony


Visitor centre
Bird hides
Picnic area
Accessible toilet
Baby changing facilities
Disabled parking
Accessible trails

When to visit

Opening times

Car park open 9am-8pm

Best time to visit

All year round. Seasonal highlights include Butterflies (inc. brown argus) in Spring, Sand martins in Summer and Starling murmurations in Winter.

About the reserve

We have successfully secured donations of over £1 million for Attenborough Nature Reserve during the Lifeline Appeal to purchase and look after the reserve for generations to come. But please still keep donating so we can keep managing the reserve.

Find out more and donate online

Attenborough Nature Reserve was established in 1966 and opened by Sir David Attenborough. The reserve is best known for its birds. The area is an important site for winter wildfowl and often holds a high proportion of the county's shoveler and diving ducks, with larger numbers of mallard, teal, and occasionally wigeon. Scarcer wildfowl such as sawbills and sea ducks are recorded regularly and cormorants are common. All the British grebes have been recorded. In the spring and autumn, many migrants birds pass through and the Delta area attracts a wide range of waders in small numbers including the iconic bittern.

Species found include Sand Martins, Bitterns, Kingfishers, Cormorants, Great Crested Grebes, Reed & Sedge Warblers, Shelducks, Terns, Shovelers, Widgeon, Sawbills, Sea Ducks, Otters, Bats, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Voles, Shrews and Harvest Mice.

Broxtowe Lotto is a weekly lottery that raises money for good causes in Broxtowe, including  our fantastic Attenborough Nature Reserve. To find out more about the lotto please visit here

Environmental designation

Local Wildlife Site (LWS)
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

© Nottingham University Enrichment Fund

© Stuart Eggerton and Suzanne Hemsley

The aerial video was filmed with permission of NWT at a time so as not to disturb the wildlife