The Rutland Water Nature Reserve is internationally famous and provides one of the most important wildfowl sanctuaries in Great Britain, regularly holding in excess of 25,000 waterfowl. Home to the Rutland Osprey Project, it is a fantastic place for birding and getting closer to nature. It also made international news in 2022 for uncovering the fossil of the Rutland Sea Dragon – Britain’s largest complete fossil of an Ichthyosaur.
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. There are over 30 bird watching hides (many of them accessible for wheelchairs/pushchairs) and nature trails from two visitor centres with experts to help you with identification;
The Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre at Egleton (LE15 8BT), is the main gateway to the larger part of the reserve where you can discover a huge variety of birds and wildlife and visit the many hides. The visitor centre offers fantastic views, gift shop, optics shop, interactive information and some light refreshment.
Lyndon Nature Reserve & Visitor Centre (LE15 8RN) lies on the south shore of the reservoir. Enjoy hearing the stories of the Rutland Osprey Project in the visitor centre (complete with facilities, refreshments and a shop), then enjoy a walk through the meadows, stopping off at a hide or two on the way, to Manton Bay – and see nesting ospreys for yourself.
Day Permits and short break permits are available, valid for 4 days (discount available for Leicestershire & Rutland wildlife trust members).
- The Rutland Osprey Project has been running for over 20 years with over 200 osprey chicks having fledged from Rutland since 2001, around 8 breeding pairs returning year after year to their Rutland Water home. See these magnificent birds in Spring and Summer.
- Global Birdfair was held at The Rutland Showground on 15-17 July 2022. Replacing the popular British Birdwatching Fair previously held at the Egleton Nature Reserve on the 3rd weekend in August, it was affectionately known as the ‘Glastonbury’ for the bird world attracting around 20,000 visitors.
Rutland Water Nature Reserve is managed by Anglian Water in partnership with the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust and is a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest), SPA (Special Protection Area) and RAMSAR site (a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention).