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

Recording wildlife

Your wildlife observations help us learn about and protect wildlife at the reserve.

Sightings of all species help us monitor change and target conservation action to help wildlife.

Each year, visitors make new and exciting discoveries at the reserve, you can share yours on iRecord below.

Roe Deer © Philip Jordan


Lookout 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 moving quietly through the reedbed.

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.

Tree Sparrow © Dave Jarema


The reserve’s wetlands are home to a diverse array of wildfowl, including Wigeon, Pochard and Teal, and Bitterns skulk in the cover of extensive reedbeds. With some luck, you may even spot a jewel-like Kingfisher.

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.

The Latest on Wildlife at GNR

Gosforth Nature Reserve ›
Local naturalist, Christopher Wren, takes a look back over an incredible year for dragonflies at Gosforth Nature Reserve….
Gosforth Nature Reserve ›
Explore a tale of beginner’s luck, expert support, and sound woodland stewardship as local naturalist, Lydia Koelmans, shares the discovery of Porotheleum fimbriatum at Gosforth Nature Reserve….
Birds ›
We caught up with Philip Jordan to find out about his latest project documenting nest box activity at Gosforth Nature Reserve. What a year it has been!…
Invertebrates ›
Discover one of the North East’s most overlooked bee species, the eye-catching Orange-tailed Mining Bee…
Gosforth Nature Reserve ›
This summer marked a major milestone for Gosforth Nature Reserve as the first Barn Owls in over forty years returned to breed on site…
Gosforth Nature Reserve ›
The first confirmed sighting of a Water Vole in over a decade has been made at Gosforth Park Nature Reserve….