Warden, Coastguard Cottages, South Walney Nature Reserve, Walney Island, Barrow in Furness, SD225 620

Tel No:   01229 471066


A small car park is located at the start of the reserves walk and toilets are nearby.

Opening and Closing Times:

Open to members and non-members. A small charge is made for day permits: £2 adults, 50p children, free for Cumbria Wildlife Trust members. No dogs allowed. Closed on Mondays except Bank Holidays.

Area Description:

A variety of habitats can be found at South Walney including pebble beaches, mudflats, grazed grassland, shingle, sand dunes, freshwater and brackish pools. South Walney became a nature reserve in 1963. It is leased by Cumbria Wildlife Trust from the Holker Estate. Cattle graze the reserve during the summer and sheep in the winter. Livestock are excluded from small areas to encourage shrubs and trees to become established to provide cover for small birds. The Spit is closed to visitors as it provides an area where birds can breed and roost without being disturbed.

A network of trails and a diversity of habitats make Walney a great day out.

Best times to visit:

All year round with enough ornithological interest to keep most wildlife enthusiasts happy.

Key Flora:

Sea lavender, bugloss, Heart's ease pansy, pyramidal orchid, henbane and a whole host of coastal specialities will keep the botanist delighted. Various grassland fungi are present from summer onwards and the lichen hunter has plenty to go at on this exposed site.

The appealing open and windblown aspect of Walney as well as the great views. are what make it so distinctive

Key Fauna:

The breeding gull colony is Walneys main attraction as well as the stunning views of eider and red breasted merganser. An abundance of birds can be seen on a good day with terns, waders and wildfowl obvious and the odd migrant attracting attention. Oystercatcher, ringed plover, mallard and tufted duck are among the 25 species that use the area as a breeding ground. Atlantic grey seals are common and migrating butterflies should be seen in summer as well as more common species such as small tortoiseshell, peacock and meadow brown.

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