Druridge Pools Nature Reserve consists of one large subsidence lake, a marshy wetland area and large grass covered dunes and beach. It sits between Cresswell Pools to the South and East Chevington to the North and a visit here can easily be combined with trips to both of its neighbours.
Getting There :
Off the A1068 road there are two route to the reserve :
- From the North, head left at Widdrington at the roundabout past the Widdrington Arms and follow the road past a farm shop towards the coast. The road kinks right and left a few times before eventually reaching the coastal dunes. At this point turn left into the reserve rather than following the road south. Parking is possible along the verges of the single track lane.
- From the South, turn right at the roundabout signposted for Ellington and shortly past local shops and pub take a left turn signposted Cresswell. Follow this road past a housing estate and then past the caravan site until you reach a row of shops and houses where the road sweeps right, however you should her left off the main road. Follow this road past Cresswell Pools on your left and over the brow of a hill and down past a farm and when the road turns sharp left, instead go straight on into the reserve and park on the grass verge.
The Site :
This site has a great range of habitats to attract all manner of birds, insects and mammals. At the entrance to the reserve a stand of small trees and bushes is a good spot for migrant passerines. Along the length of the reserve long grass and tall bushes also provide cover for passerines and also are good areas for butterflies. The first “hide” you come to is in fact a metal screen enclosed on three sides, which overlooks the marshy meadow known as the Budge Fields. This area is good for geese, ducks, herons and in 2011 played host to groups of spoonbill on serveral occasions.
Further along the track a path winds through the trees and along a boardwalk between high levees screening the path from the meadows and the main lake (as well as providing shelter for butteflies) until eventually two hides are reached – the first on the left looks across the wetland fields where Barn Owl can be seen hunting during the day or at dusk, and a 2nd – the Oddie Hide – has great views of the main body of water. Again this is great for ducks (especially in winter), waders, gulls, herons and is also a good site for Bittern. Arrive at the right time and you may even see otters.
The track that gives access to the hides also continues inland and across fields to Low Chibburn Preceptory – a farm once owned by the Knights Hospitallers (related to the Knights Templars) and home to the14th century manor and 17th century Dower house.
The fields around the reserve are often home to wintering geese, particularly greylag and pink footed, and the beach can hold terns of the commoner species (sandwich, common and arctic).