Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve

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Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve
IUCN category II (national park)
Caerlaverock SNH.jpg
View across the Nith Estuary, close to the Solway Firth
Map showing the location of Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve
Map showing the location of Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve
LocationCaerlaverock, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Coordinates54°58′N 3°28′W / 54.96°N 3.47°W / 54.96; -3.47Coordinates: 54°58′N 3°28′W / 54.96°N 3.47°W / 54.96; -3.47
Area8,185 hectares (31.60 sq mi)[1]
Governing bodyScottish Natural Heritage (SNH)
Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve

Caerlaverock is a national nature reserve (NNR) covering part of the Solway Firth and the land south of Dumfries, in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It lies between the River Nith and the Lochar Water.

A nature reserve was designated in the 1950s and it is now managed by Scottish Natural Heritage.[2] The NNR covers an area of 82 square kilometres (32 sq mi) and consists of saltmarsh, mudflats and grazing land. It is an internationally important wintering site for waterfowl and wading birds. Virtually the entire Svalbard population of barnacle goose (roughly 24,000) overwinters here.[3] More than 130,000 wading birds have been recorded in winter. In addition, many thousands of birds stop while passing through.

Related sites[edit]

Carerlaverock NNR is part of the Upper Solway Flats and Marshes, which is a Ramsar site and a European Union Special Protection Area for birdlife, and extends across the Solway to Cumbria. The NNR is also part of the Solway Firth Special Area of Conservation, and is partly within the Nith Estuary National Scenic Area.[4] The NNR is classified as a Category II protected area by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.[5]

The conservation charity Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust runs a centre called WWT Caerlaverock next to the NNR. There are other national nature reserves on the Solway coast in England.

Former status as a biosphere reserve[edit]

The reserve was formerly included among UNESCO's Biosphere Reserves. The site was designated in the 1970s, but subsequently the focus of the UNESCO programme shifted from the idea of isolated natural environments to one that allows for the interaction with man in terms of sustainable living and education. After new criteria for biosphere reserves were agreed in 1995, Caelaverock was among four Scottish sites delisted.[6]


  1. ^ "Caerlaverock NNR". Scottish Natural Heritage. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  2. ^ "Caerlaverock: Management". Scotland's National Nature Reserves. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  3. ^ "Caerlaverock". Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  4. ^ "Caerlaverock: Designations". Scotland's National Nature Reserves. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Caerlaverock in United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Protected Planet. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  6. ^ "Four biosphere reserves delisted". Scottish Government. 26 March 2002.