Managed by NHSN volunteers since 1929, Gosforth Nature Reserve is one of the best places to watch wildlife in the North East.

Broad-bodied Chaser © Christopher Wren

Recording wildlife

Your wildlife observations make a world of difference by helping us learn about and protect wildlife at Gosforth Nature Reserve.

Sightings of all species help us track the fortunes of wildlife populations, monitor change and target conservation action.

Each year, visitors make new and exciting discoveries at the reserve, you can share yours by visiting the page below.

Roe Deer © Philip Jordan


Look out and listen for the many fantastic mammal species found at Gosforth Nature Reserve.

Otters are a familiar sight on the lake, and you might catch sight of a Water Vole or Water Shrew crossing quietly one of the many vegetated channels.

In quieter moments, mammals such as Roe Deer, Badger and Fox can be seen, while seven species of bat take to the wing by night.

Kingfishers © Chris Castling


Wetlands throng with a diverse array of wildfowl, Bitterns skulk in the cover of extensive reedbeds and jewel-like Kingfishers hunt in the shallows.

In the woodland, dawn chimes with the song and calls of countless woodland birds and the yaffle of Green Woodpeckers. At dusk, the haunting cries of Tawny Owls takeover.

With 189 bird species recorded at Gosforth Nature Reserve, there is always something to see.

Rhinoceros Beetle © James Common


Gosforth Nature Reserve is nationally significant for its invertebrate populations.

Plentiful deadwood plays host to thriving populations of wood-boring beetles like the impressive Rhinoceros Beetle, and flowering plants attract beautiful pollinators such as Common Blue, White-letter Hairstreak and the scarce Dingy Skipper.

In spring and summer, dragonflies and damselflies take to the wing and visitors can encounter 16 different species, including the striking Emperor.

Coral Root Orchid © Paul Drummond


In the shade of the woodland, England’s second-largest colony of rare Coral-root Orchid blooms during Spring.

Keen-eyed botanists can enjoy a colourful array of meadow, wetland and woodland plants, including Broad-leaved Helleborine and Northern Marsh Orchid.

In late summer, look out for the powder-puff blooms of Devil’s-bit Scabious or the delightful purple flowers of Heather – a relic of a time when much of the landscape was dominated by lowland heath.

Explore North East wildlife

Invertebrates ›
Charlotte Rankin provides an overview of the Dark-edged Bee-fly, the bee-fly species you are most likely to encounter in the North East….
Invertebrates ›
Discover one of the North East’s most overlooked bee species, the eye-catching Orange-tailed Mining Bee…
Gosforth Nature Reserve ›
The first confirmed sighting of a Water Vole in over a decade has been made at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve….