Update of reserves opening

An update on the status of our nature reserves.

We ask people to remember that all of our nature reserves are managed for the benefit of wildlife and we take decisions based on protecting the wildlife as well as local communities and the public. At this time, many of our staff are on the furlough scheme and volunteering has temporarily ceased, so we have reduced capacity, including on our nature reserves. Westhay and Catcott are now open for small numbers of local visitors as we are confident following initial checks that ground nesting birds will not be disturbed by responsibly behaved visitors, but please be aware that the car parks are small so cannot take lots of visitors’ cars. You may find you are unable to park on arrival and will not be able to visit; please do not park on the roadsides around any of our reserves as this blocks the road for local people and businesses. We may also need access at any time, and we must ensure emergency vehicles can gain access.

None of our reserves have toilets or serve refreshments so are not suitable for long day trips and nearby cafes and toilets remain closed. The hides at Westhay and Catcott remain closed as social distancing is not possible in these enclosed environments but we cannot lock them as some people see this is an invitation to vandalise them.  We ask all visitors to respect this and not use the bird hides for now.

We know most people are very considerate when visiting our reserves and are aware that these are places for nature. Thank you all for your consideration, patience and support during these challenging times.