Wetlands visitor centre, West Nash, Newport
|Type||National nature reserve|
|Nearest city||Newport, Wales|
|Area||437 hectares (1,080 acres)|
The reserve was established in 2000 to mitigate losses of wildlife habitat when the Cardiff Bay Barrage scheme was undertaken.
The site is owned and managed by Natural Resources Wales, the successor body to the Countryside Council for Wales. A purpose-built visitor and education centre for the site was opened, in West Nash, in March 2008 by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) with help from Newport City Council and water level management assistance by Caldicot and Wentloog Levels Internal Drainage Board.
The reserve covers 437 hectares (1,080 acres) of the Caldicot Level, a low-lying area of land bordering the northern shore of the Severn Estuary. Part of the site is a reclaimed fuel ash disposal site, although some farmland in Goldcliff and Nash has also had to be flooded to complete the work.
Entrance is free, with car parking facilities open every day of the year from 8:30 am until 5:30 pm. The visitor and education centre opening hours are 9:00 am until 5:00 pm (except Christmas day).
Dogs and cyclists are permitted outside the visitor centre and along a specially marked six-kilometre (3.7 mi) circular route around the reserve's perimeter.
The reserve includes a wide variety of habitats which include grazed pasture with hedgerows, ditches, reens, reed beds and grasslands. These help to attract breeding birds such as lapwings, redshanks, oystercatchers, little ringed plovers and ringed plovers, as well as visitors such as wigeon, shovellers, teal, shelduck and pintails, bitterns, hen harriers and short-eared owls.
Comprehensive observation data for the region can be obtained from, and submitted at eBird.
The picnic and play area situated next to the visitor centre provides a children's play area, education zone, and benches for picnics. It is surrounded by wetlands and reed beds, home to many resident and migratory birds.
Past the picnic and play area is a hill, which continues directly ahead south towards the floating walkway and lighthouse (see below). Three lagoons are located on the top of the hill, immediately before approaching the floating walkway. These are R5, R6 (fully viewable from two fenced overpasses on the hill) and R8 (partially viewable from a fenced overpass on the hill but best viewed from the woodland trail viewpoint).
A new feature part of the reserve's development was an artificial floating walkway, which provides a direct route to the lighthouse over lagoon R7. This lagoon is part of a series of a total of three lagoons spanning the coastal path (east to west). The most eastward lagoon (R9) is overlooked by the bird hide in addition to being viewable from a fenced overpass (currently closed for the stated reason of protecting wildlife), and the most westwardly lagoon (R4) is viewable from a fenced overpass.
|East Usk Lighthouse|
East Usk lighthouse, near Perry Lane, West Nash, Newport
|Year first constructed||1893|
|Construction||cast iron tower|
|Tower shape||cylindrical tower with balcony and lantern|
|Markings / pattern||white tower and lantern|
|Tower height||13 metres (43 ft)|
|Focal height||11 metres (36 ft)|
|Light source||mains power|
|Characteristic||Fl (2) WRG 10s.|
|Managing agent||Newport Harbour Commissioners |
The East Usk Lighthouse is within the reserve on the estuary trail facing towards the Severn Estuary. It is a basic lamphousing with no accommodation. The more substantial decommissioned West Usk Lighthouse, currently operating as a hotel, is on the opposite (west) bank of the River Usk and can be viewed from the reserve.
The bird hide is located on the far side of the trail and provides shelter for up-close viewing of birds on one of the trail's many lagoons (R9).
The cycling (and dog walking) route is accessed via a path next to the car park exit. Initially heading west, the 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) circular route follows alongside the power station then turns to the east past the East Usk Lighthouse and along the Severn Estuary (Wales Coast Path). After dropping below the sea wall the path splits, with a pedestrian and dog walking route returning to the visitor centre via a marked path to the left. A longer pedestrian and cycling route continues forwards towards Goldcliff village and the local road network.
The woodland trail is entered by turning left at the top of the hill. The trail travels past neighboring farmland, through the reserve's woodlands, past a lagoon viewing platform and bird hide, and onto the estuary trail.
A notable feature of the reserve, which may be missed by the hurried explorer, is the viewing platform overlooking lagoon R8. It is located in a relatively secluded area of the reserve, found by turning right before leaving the woodland trail when heading southwards towards the bird hide/estuary trail.
The Caldicot and Wentloog Levels are two areas of low-lying estuarine alluvial wetland and intertidal mudflats adjoining the north bank of the Severn Estuary, either side of the River Usk estuary near Newport in south east Wales. They are also known collectively as the Monmouthshire Levels or Gwent Levels, and the name Wentloog is sometimes spelled Wentlooge in official publications.
The Caldicot Level lies to the southeast of Newport between the River Usk and River Wye and consists of 17,500 acres (71 km2). It is home to Newport Wetlands Reserve. The Wentloog Level lies to the southwest between the River Usk and Rhymney River and consists of 8,500 acres (34 km2).
The levels are formed from tidal deposits and alluvium, which have been recurrently inundated and reclaimed from the Severn Estuary by humans since Roman times. They have been patterns of settlement, enclosure and drainage systems belonging to successive periods of use, and are extremely rich archaeologically, with finds from the Mesolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age periods.
They are an important wetland resource. Parts have been designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. They are registered as a Historic Landscape of Outstanding Historic Interest in Wales.Glan Llyn
Glan Llyn (Lakeside) is the name of a new mixed-use community development, in the east of Newport, south Wales on the heavy end of the former Llanwern steelworks, at the edge of the Caldicot Moors. The moors have a wealth of buried archaeology of international importance, including prehistoric and Roman landscapes which have been protected and preserved over the years by alluvial deposits.Goldcliff, Newport
Goldcliff (Welsh: Allteuryn) is a village, parish and community to the south east of the city of Newport in South Wales. It lies within the Newport city boundaries in the historic county of Monmouthshire and the preserved county of Gwent. Administratively, the community of Goldcliff includes the parish of Whitson.List of RSPB reserves
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is Europe's largest wildlife conservation charity.
This is a list of RSPB reserves.List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Newport
This is a list of the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in the Newport Area of Search (AoS).Mill Creek Park
Mill Creek Park (officially known as Mill Creek MetroParks) is a metropolitan park located in Youngstown, Ohio. The Trust for Public Land ranks one part of Mill Creek as the 142nd largest park located within the limits of a US city.Mill Creek MetroParks now stretches from the near west side of Youngstown to the southern borders of the city and neighboring Boardman township. The park "encompasses approximately 4400 acres (10.5 km²), 20 mi (32 km) of drives, and 15 mi (24 km) of foot trails" as well as a variety of bridges, ponds, streams, well-tended gardens, and waterfalls. If including the total size of the park system, Mill Creek ranks among the largest metropolitan-owned parks within the city limits of any US city.Nash, Newport
Nash (Welsh: Trefonnen) is a village and community to the south of the city of Newport, South Wales, in the Liswerry ward.National Cycle Route 4
National Cycle Route 4 (or NCR 4) is a route of the National Cycle Network, running from London to Fishguard. Between London and Fishguard, the route runs through Reading, Bath, Bristol, Newport, Swansea, Llanelli and St David's. Within Wales, NCR 4 forms one of the branches of the Celtic Trail cycle route.National nature reserves in Wales
National nature reserves in Wales are administered by Natural Resources Wales (formerly the Countryside Council for Wales). There are 67 reserves.Newport, Wales
Newport (Welsh: Casnewydd; [kasˈnɛwɨð]) is a city and unitary authority area in south east Wales, on the River Usk close to its confluence with the Severn Estuary, 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Cardiff. At the 2011 census, it was the third largest city in Wales, with a population of 145,700. The city forms part of the Cardiff-Newport metropolitan area, with a population of 1,097,000.
Newport has been a port since medieval times, when the first Newport Castle was built by the Normans. The town outgrew the earlier Roman town of Caerleon, immediately upstream, and gained its first charter in 1314. It grew significantly in the 19th century, when its port became the focus of coal exports from the eastern South Wales Valleys. Until the rise of Cardiff from the 1850s, Newport was Wales' largest coal-exporting port. Newport was the site of the last large-scale armed insurrection in Britain, the Newport Rising of 1839 led by the Chartists.
In the 20th century, the docks declined in importance, but Newport remained an important manufacturing and engineering centre. It was granted city status in 2002. Newport hosted the Ryder Cup in 2010 and was the venue for the 2014 NATO summit.Pied avocet
The pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) is a large black and white wader in the avocet and stilt family, Recurvirostridae. They breed in temperate Europe and western and Central Asia. It is a migratory species and most winter in Africa or southern Asia. Some remain to winter in the mildest parts of their range, for example in southern Spain and southern England. The pied avocet is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor
RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor is an 89-hectare (220-acre) wetlands nature reserve in the Dearne Valley near Barnsley, South Yorkshire, run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). It lies on the junction of the A633 and A6195 roads and is bordered by the Trans Pennine Trail long-distance path. Following the end of coal mining locally, the Dearne Valley had become a derelict post-industrial area, and the removal of soil to cover an adjacent polluted site enabled the creation of the wetlands at Old Moor.
Old Moor is managed to benefit bitterns, breeding waders such as lapwings, redshanks and avocets, and wintering golden plovers. A calling male little bittern was present in the summers of 2015 and 2016. Passerine birds include a small colony of tree sparrows and good numbers of willow tits, thriving here despite a steep decline elsewhere in the UK.
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council created the reserve, which opened in 1998, but the RSPB took over management of the site in 2003 and developed it further, with funding from several sources including the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The reserve, along with others nearby, forms part of a landscape-scale project to create wildlife habitat in the Dearne Valley. It is an 'Urban Gateway' site with facilities intended to attract visitors, particularly families. In 2018, the reserve had about 100,000 visits. The reserve may benefit in the future from new habitat creation beyond the reserve and improved accessibility, although there is also a potential threat to the reserve from climate change and flooding.River Usk
The River Usk (; Welsh: Afon Wysg) rises on the northern slopes of the Black Mountain (y Mynydd Du), Wales, in the westernmost part of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Initially forming the boundary between Carmarthenshire and Powys, it flows north into Usk Reservoir, then east by Sennybridge to Brecon before turning southeast to flow by Talybont-on-Usk, Crickhowell and Abergavenny after which it takes a more southerly course.
Beyond the eponymous town of Usk it passes the Roman legionary fortress of Caerleon to flow through the heart of the city of Newport and into the Severn estuary at Uskmouth beyond Newport at Newport Wetlands.
The Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal follows the Usk for most of the length of the canal.Severn Estuary
The Severn Estuary (Welsh: Môr Hafren) is the estuary of the River Severn, the longest river in Great Britain. It is the confluence of four major rivers, being the Severn, Wye, Usk and Avon, and other smaller rivers. Its high tidal range, approximately 50 feet (15 m), means that it has been at the centre of discussions in the UK regarding renewable energy.South Wales Coast and Severn Estuary Coastal Path
The South Wales Coast and Severn Estuary Coastal Path covers Region H of the larger Wales Coast Path, an 870-mile (1,400 km) long-distance walking route around the whole coast of Wales which opened on 5 May 2012. The South Wales Coast and Severn Estuary stretch is a 109-mile (176 km) in length running from Kenfig Dunes near Port Talbot, South Wales to Chepstow. With five local councils involved in its creation and maintenance, the route goes through a heritage coast, three national nature reserves and three heritage landscapes.Starling
Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Sturnidae. The name "Sturnidae" comes from the Latin word for starling, sturnus. Many Asian species, particularly the larger ones, are called mynas, and many African species are known as glossy starlings because of their iridescent plumage. Starlings are native to Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific. Several European and Asian species have been introduced to these areas as well as North America, Hawaii and New Zealand, where they generally compete for habitats with native birds and are considered to be invasive species. The starling species familiar to most people in Europe and North America is the common starling, and throughout much of Asia and the Pacific, the common myna is indeed common.
Starlings have strong feet, their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Several species live around human habitation and are effectively omnivores. Many species search for prey such as grubs by "open-bill probing", that is, forcefully opening the bill after inserting it into a crevice, thus expanding the hole and exposing the prey; this behaviour is referred to by the German verb zirkeln (pronounced [ˈtsɪɐ̯kl̩n]).Plumage of many species is typically dark with a metallic sheen. Most species nest in holes and lay blue or white eggs.
Starlings have diverse and complex vocalizations and have been known to embed sounds from their surroundings into their own calls, including car alarms and human speech patterns. The birds can recognize particular individuals by their calls and are the subject of research into the evolution of human language.Uskmouth
Uskmouth (Welsh: Aberwysg) is an area to the south of the city of Newport, South Wales.Uskmouth power stations
The Uskmouth power stations (also known as the Fifoots Point power stations) refers to a series of two coal-fired power station at the mouth of the River Usk in the south-east of Newport, Wales. The first of the two station, Uskmouth A power station, was built in the 1950s and demolished in 2002. The steam turbine suffered a catastrophic overspeed event in 1958 killing two workers and throwing parts of the turbine into the adjacent river.The second station, Uskmouth B power station, was built in the 1960s and is currently undergoing a conversion to run on Biomass.West Usk Lighthouse
West Usk Lighthouse is a Grade II-listed building on the Severn Estuary at the mouth of the River Usk south of the city of Newport, South Wales.
The City of Newport
|Districts of Newport|
|Buildings and structures|