Rutland Water Nature & Wildlife
A SSSI, SPA and RAMSAR site This internationally famous nature reserve is managed by Anglian Water in partnership with the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust and provides one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in Great Britain, regularly holding in excess of 25,000 waterfowl. It is also home to the Rutland Osprey Project and is a fantastic place for birding and getting closer to nature.
About the reserve
The reserve occupies shore line and shallow water lagoons along 9 miles of the western end of Rutland Water and covers a total area of 1000 acres. It was created in the 1970s with the construction of the reservoir. There are over 30 bird watching hides and nature trails from two visitor centres with experts to help you with identification
Anglian Water is justly proud of its long standing partnership with The Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust to manage Rutland Water Nature Reserve and the completion of the major Rutland Water Habitats Project early in 2011 underlined the strength and success of this remarkable collaboration. The project has extended the nature reserve by a further 240 acres (to cover a total area of 1000 acres) significantly enhancing it through the creation of nine lagoons comprising extensive shallow water, snaking islands and wet marginal habitats. These will provide optimum conditions for wildlife and ensure it is undisturbed by future water management of the reservoir.
The Rutland Osprey Project
The Rutland Osprey Project is one of the most pioneering projects ever carried out in Osprey Conservation.
Historically the Osprey was widely distributed throughout England, particularly areas like the Fens which would have provided ideal feeding and breeding habitat. However, intensive persecution by man (egg-collecting and taxidermy) during the last century, combined with prime habitat loss, led to its extinction as a breeding species in England in the 1840s.The Rutland Osprey Project began in 1996 with the aim of reintroducing these spectacular birds of prey to Rutland and to provide a base from which Ospreys could spread across England.
Following a successful translocation project, 2001 saw the hatching of the first wild osprey in central England for over 150 years. The birds now regularly breed at Rutland Water and Rutland is very much the home of the modern English Osprey.
The Birds are still extremely vulnerable and as such project officers and volunteers observe the birds from their arrival in spring until they migrate to West Africa in autumn. Visitors can find out more about these iconic birds by visiting the Lyndon Visitor Centre on the South Shore of Rutland Water.
More information on the project can be found by clicking here.
Grab your binoculars and head to the western end of the water park, where visitors will find the Anglian Water Bird Watching Centre which features a viewing gallery, interactive displays and shops.
The Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre at Egleton offers exciting environmental displays, viewing gallery, excellent schools service, Wildlife Trust shop and In Focus optical shop. At the Lyndon Visitor Centre, home to the Osprey Project, there is a fascinating Weather and Wildlife exhibition as well as a Wildlife Trust shop.
In addition visitors will find
- 31 bird watching hides (including some accessible to wheelchair users)
- habitats including woodland, grassland and wetlands
- wide range of insects, birds, mammals and amphibians
- rare plants
- nature and walking trails
- volunteering opportunities
- regular events and activities
- Rutland Environmental Education Centre (REEC).
Access to the reserve is by valid permit only and a wide range of permits are available. Purchased from the visitor’s centre at Egleton, permit price includes car parking. Call +44 (0)1572 770 651 for further information.
Available permits include:
For up to two adults and three children, the permit allows year-round entry to the nature reserve or the whole family. The permit costs £68 per family, (£37 for existing members of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust), making it great value.
Please note during the annual Birdfair weekend, held each August, the permit does not give access to the Egleton area.
Four day permits
Permit costs £16 and is to be used within 10 days of issue.