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Barn owl fling at duskPortbury Wharf Nature Reserve

Portbury Wharf Nature Reserved is classed a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The area is a great place for bird watching or just enjoying a family day out. Wading birds and wildfowl are the easiest wildlife to spot at the reserve, but other birds include skylarks and barn owls.

Hides overlook the areas of open water that provide an invaluable wetland habitat for rare species such as great crested newt, water vole and otter, and hay meadows and hedgerows provide food and shelter for many small mammals.

Public footpaths run throughout the area, much of which is relatively flat, however some of the paths can be steep and get muddy. Dogs are allowed, but must be kept on a lead.

To find the nature reserve by car, travelling from Portishead towards Gordano Services, turn in left in to Sheepway, where signposted. You will see a small parking area on the left after the railway bridge. There's a bus stop nearby, too. A bit further on there's another small car park; turn left into Wharf Lane. There is no access to the reserve by car, so park here and you will see the entrance gate. On foot, the reserve can also be accessed via paths leading from the marina and Village Quarter.

You can book a wildlife walk, accompanied by an expert from the Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve on their website.

There's a super map here, on the Friends of Portbury Wharf website, devised by a local artist.

The reserve has four entrances:

  • From the Portishead side, on the junction of Phoenix Way and Fennel Road, in the Village Quarter, grid ref ST 48017 76532, and Marina Walk, grid ref ST 47770 77223
  • The Portbury side has two small carparks at Sheepway, grid ref ST 48579 76053, and Wharf Lane, grid ref ST 48816 76442


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