Wetlands visitor centre, West Nash, Newport
|Type||National nature reserve|
|Nearest city||Newport, Wales|
|Area||437 hectares (1,080 acres)|
The reserve was first 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 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.
Habitats and species
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, Shovelers, Teal, Shelduck and Pintails, Bitterns, Hen Harriers and Short-eared Owls.
East Usk Lighthouse is within the area of the reserve. 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.
- Newport City Council - Newport Wetlands
- BBC News - £3m visitors' centre for wetlands
- BBC - Newport Wetlands
- RSPB - Newport Wetlands
- Caldicot & Wentlooge Level Internal Drainage Board
- www.geograph.co.uk : photos of Newport Wetlands Reserve and surrounding area