Gosforth Nature Reserve

Gosforth Park Nature Reserve

We have managed Gosforth Park Nature Reserve since 1929. This peaceful 60ha wildlife refuge in the north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne has a shallow lake, extensive reedbed and mixed woodland. The reserve is scientifically important for its uncommon flora and fauna.

Hides and board walks enable you to view waterfowl, waders and reedbed birds at one of the best birdwatching sites in the Newcastle area. Woodland trails and a feeding station provide an opportunity to see a wide range of woodland birds, mammals and flowers. The reserve has a population of roe deer, red squirrel, fox and badger and if you are lucky you might even see an otter.
You can find out more about the reserve on the pages below and download this visitor leaflet which includes a map of the reserve.

Unfortunately in recent years the reserve and its wildlife have been threatened by plans for development on land next to the reserve. This would have a detrimental impact and a “Save Gosforth Wildlife” campaign is underway to commit the future of this area of the city for wildlife and people rather than as a building site. To find out more about the plans, the reasons we are against them and how to join the campaign click here. Your support will make a difference.


  • The reserve is only open to members of the Natural History Society and their families. Always carry your membership card with you or you may be asked to leave by our Warden. If you are not a member and would like to make a visit then permits can be arranged from our office Mon-Fri.
  • There are several viewing hides around the lake. These are locked and members who don’t already have a key can obtain one (deposit £5) from the Society office.
  • For directions to the reserve please download map.
  • The only entrance to the reserve is through the garden of the cottage known as Lake Lodge, which belongs to the Society and is the home of our Volunteer Warden. There is parking in Old Salter’s Lane near to the Lodge.
  • Please keep to footpaths to avoid damaging the flora. Paths and boardwalks can be wet, muddy and slippery,please wear appropriate clothing and take care.
  • Dogs are not allowed, even on leads. The collection of any kind of plant or animal is forbidden, please take only photographs and leave only footprints.
  • The reserve is used by the Society’s bird ringing group who you may come across setting mist nets in the reedbeds or woodland.
  • If you encounter any problems at the reserve please report them to the Warden in Lake Lodge or contact the Society office.
  • The Society regularly organises guided walks and activities at the reserve, click here to see what’s coming up.

Autumn at the reserve by Cain Scrimgeour

Autumn from Cain Scrimgeour on Vimeo.

Winter at the reserve by Cain Scrimgeour


Winter from Cain Scrimgeour on Vimeo.

Click here for even more photos and videos of our nature reserve.

Wildlife Sightings

Near Lake Lodge is the members hut with a logbook; please enter your sightings after each visit as this helps us to monitor changes in fauna and flora over many years. These records are also passed to the North-East Environmental Records Information Centre to form part of our regional knowledge of the natural world and to help with conservation efforts. Rare species are sometimes seen in the reserve, if you are fortunate enough to see one please get in touch to let us know.

Please follow these links for more reserve information:

Recent reserve sightings and news

Lists of species of birds, mammals, amphibians, insects and plants recorded at the reserve

Reserve Management & Conservation

The nature reserve provides a focus for the Society’s conservation and research activities. Half of the reserve is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the whole site is designated as a Local Wildlife Site and Wildlife Corridor in recognition of its ecological importance.

The reserve is managed by Society members working as volunteers. For the past 80 years they have been improving the habitat on the reserve to increase biodiversity and the numbers of uncommon species.

To find out more about our reserve management and conservation work click here.

School Visits and Environmental Education

Thanks to a grant from DEFRA we are able to offer free guided visits to school groups. If you are a teacher or youth leader and would like to find out more about what we can offer then please click here.

Overview & History

To read an overview of the nature reserve and about its history, status and management please click here.