Attenborough Nature Reserve

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Attenborough Nature Reserve
Attenborough Nature Reserve - - 202642.jpg
Attenborough Nature Reserve looking across one of the flooded gravel pits towards Attenborough village
Attenborough Nature Reserve is located in Nottinghamshire
Attenborough Nature Reserve
LocationAttenborough, Nottinghamshire, England
Nearest cityNottingham
Coordinates52°53′59″N 1°14′09″W / 52.8996°N 1.2357°W / 52.8996; -1.2357Coordinates: 52°53′59″N 1°14′09″W / 52.8996°N 1.2357°W / 52.8996; -1.2357
Area145 hectares (360 acres)
Created1966 (1966)
Operated byNottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
Open7.00am to dusk
StatusSSSI (for map see Map)

Attenborough Nature Reserve is a nature reserve at Attenborough, Nottinghamshire, England, located 7 Kilometres south west of Nottingham city centre.[1] It is managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust[2] in partnership with the site's owners, Cemex[2] (formerly RMC Group), supported by Broxtowe Borough Council.[1][2] At its centre is a building called Attenborough Nature Centre,[3] comprising visitor services and educational facilities.

Gravel Pits[edit]

The site was used as gravel pits between 1929 and 1967, and is still owned by CEMEX, the gravel extraction company, who continue to extract sand and gravel from neighbouring areas. Working gravel barges still pass through the site.[1] As sections of the site are worked out they are restored as wetland. In 2010 an area known as Thrumpton's Land was restored in this way.[4] The reserve was established at the completion of an earlier phase of workings, in 1966 and was opened by the naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough.[2]

Nature Reserve[edit]

The reserve now covers 145 hectares of lakes, wetland, grassland and scrub.[2] It sits at the confluence of the River Erewash and the Trent, and is part of an area designated as the Attenborough Gravel Pits Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).[5] The SSSI covers 226.6 hectares (560 acres) and extends westwards beyond the reserve, to the County Boundary.[2]

There are large lakes formed by the flooded pits, known as Church Pond, Clifton Pond, Main Pond, Tween Pond and Beeston Pond, plus drier areas of scrub and grassland such as Corbetts Meadow and Erewash field.[6] There are also areas of native willow and woodland.[2]

The ponds have become the most important bird overwintering area in Nottinghamshire for shoveler and diving ducks. The species count since 1966 is now over 250 bird species.[2] Among the nationally rare birds seen at the reserve are penduline tit (1994), squacco heron (1998 and 2011), purple heron (2003) and sora (2004).[7]

Nature Centre[edit]

The Nature Centre at Attenborough Nature Reserve

The Attenborough Nature Centre at the site provides an educational facility, shop and refreshment point and car park for the reserve, accessed from Barton Lane, Attenborough. The Centre was completed in 2005, since which it has won a Gold award for eco-tourism. Almost 40 years after he opened the reserve itself, Sir David Attenborough returned to open the centre.[8] An article in BBC Wildlife Magazine listed it as number 9 in a top ten 'eco places in the world'.[3][9] The facilities are open seven days a week, and the centre is surrounded by the ponds. There are also two public bird hides.[2]

See also[edit]

List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Nottinghamshire


  1. ^ a b c "Attenborough Nature Reserve : Broxtowe Borough Council". Broxtowe Borough Council. Archived from the original on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Attenborough Nature Reserve About". Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Attenborough Nature Centre". Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  4. ^ Cemex communities website: Thrumpton's Land accessed 18 Mar 2012
  5. ^ "Attenborough Gravel Pits SSSI citation" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04.
  6. ^ Attenborough Nature Centre Map of the reserve. Archived August 9, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Accessed 18 Mar 2012
  7. ^ "Attenborough Nature Reserve". Nottinghamshire Birdwatchers. 2007-02-03. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  8. ^ About the Attenborough Nature Centre Accessed 18 Mar 2012
  9. ^ Green Traveller blog accessed 18 Mar 2012

External links[edit]