It covers a 587 hectare site at Eastpark Farm, on the north shore of the Solway Firth to the south of Dumfries. It is a wild nature reserve with a network of screened approaches and several observation towers. There is a visitor centre and farmhouse accommodation.
Caerlaverock is home to one of only two UK populations of the "living fossil" Triops cancriformis, the Horseshoe Shrimp.
Almost the entire Svalbard population of Barnacle Goose overwinters in the Solway Firth area, with many of the birds often at Caerlaverock for part or all of the winter; their protection by the reserve has enabled the population to recover from just 500 birds in the 1940s, to over 25,000 now.
In January 2002, a new education centre was officially opened by King Harald V of Norway.
A pair of Ospreys have nested on the reserve since 2006. Their nest can be observed by webcam through the reserve's web-site during the day in the nesting season (April-August). At other times the webcam shows a badger sett.
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