Rutland Water Nature Reserve is a wildfowl sanctuary and sees more than 25,000 waterfowl take advantage of what it offers. The reserve is a SSSI and an important wetland site.
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It runs for nine miles around the western end of the Rutland Water reservoir and covers 1000 acres. Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust manage the reserve in conjunction with Anglican Water.
Birds can be watched from 30 hides and trails (fee charged). More than 250 species of birds have been spotted at the reserve including gadwall and shoveler. Go in the spring and you may spot 100 different species in one day. Sand martins are one of the first species to return in the spring.
The Anglian Water bird watching centre is located on Egleton Bay on Rutland Water’s western shore. It houses an exhibition about the area and its natural history. There are four shallow lagoons, meadows and a plantation woodland in this area. There is a wildlife garden at the site. Nearby is a badger hide.
The Lyndon visitor centre is on the south shore and provides bird watching and wildlife spotting. There is a weather and wildlife exhibition and information on birds. Climate change and its effects are highlighted. A live camera link to ospreys is available. There is a trail through a number of habitats including woodland and ponds; bird watching hides overlook the water. Bird feeders attract the great spotted woodpecker, the nuthatch and the marsh tit.
Anglian Water Visitor Centre
Egleton, Rutland; one mile south of Oakham (follow signs)
Tel. 0 1572 770 651
Open: daily, 9am-5pm except until 4pm Nov-March
Car park; exhibition, shop
Lyndon Visitor Centre
Off minor road from Manton to Edith Weston, Rutland; one mile east of junction with A6003 (follow signs)
Tel. 0 1572 737 378
Open: mid March-to early Sep, 9am-5pm
Car park; guided walks, electric buggy for hire, shop
Rutland Water Nature Reserve
Live Osprey Web Cam
Leicester and Rutland Wildlife Trust
Photos © by Barbara Ballard; two bird photos courtesy Rutland Water Reserve