• Great spot! Exciting sightings of lesser spotted woodpecker

    Thanks to volunteer Rob King for his article.

    There has been much excitement recently at RSPB Pulborough Brooks due to a spate of sightings of a rarely seen woodpecker; the lesser spotted woodpecker.

    There are three native woodpecker species in the UK. Let’s meet them.

    The green woodpecker is a large, predominantly green, bird which often betrays its presence by a “yaffle” – a laugh-like call. They are frequently…

    • 6 Dec 2021
  • Blues and twos - wildlife sightings from a mid-week walk

    Thank you to volunteer John for his report:

    This lovely sunny day brought out the birds and the birders at Pulborough. Ted and I met so many people there it was like the old pre-covid days.

    Our first survey of the newly ploughed field and the brooks revealed little except a lone mistle thrush on the top of the big oak which was briefly joined by a redwing. Into West Mead hide and the water levels have gone down in the…

    • 20 Nov 2021
  • Celebrate your inner Robin on our adventure trail this Christmas

    (Credit Aardman/Netflix).  

    We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix and Aardman on Robin Robin, a half-hour, stop-motion, festive story for the whole family, about a young robin trying to fit in. It’s debuting on Netflix on 24 November – get the date in your diary! 

    To celebrate, we’re inviting you to join exclusive Robin Robin-themed adventure trails right here at Pulborough Brooks this Christmas season…

    • 18 Nov 2021
  • Notice of temporary hide closure - Sun 21 November

    Notice of temporary hide closure - Sunday 21 November 11am - 12.30pm.

    West Mead hide will be closed for a couple of hours whilst it is in use on a reserve event. All other hides and viewpoints remain open.

    • 17 Nov 2021
  • Winter wetland and birding for beginners events

    Our wetlands are at their best in the winter months - teeming with ducks, geese and wading birds. We're offering special 'hire a guide' events to help you enjoy the wonderful winter wetlands.

    We're offering a 'dawn of the ducks' experience and a 'birding for beginners' workshop as 'hire a guide' events so you'll have a dedicated guide and private use of one of the hides. This means that you'll be in a small…

    • 2 Nov 2021
  • A satisfying Sunday...wildlife sightings from the weekend

    Thanks to volunteer Graham for his wildlife highlights and photos...

    Some fine weather, a good selection of birds and plenty of visitors resulted in yet another very satisfying Sunday at Pulborough Brooks. 

    Sightings of three (or more?) marsh harriers and at least three peregrines on the South Brooks were the highlights of the day. Although I was not able to obtain satisfactory photos of either of these two species I did…

    • 25 Oct 2021
  • Autumn arrivals

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for his sightings report and photos.

    There was plenty of interest on the reserve.   A bank vole was feeding on some seed I put out on the logs at Fattengates courtyard at the request of a lady who had popped in hoping to find one.

    I was pleased to see the new diggings at West Mead and Winpenny were looking very good, now with plenty of water and starting to green up.    There wasn’t much bird life…

    • 13 Oct 2021
  • merlin, marsh harrier and mushrooms

    Highlights from today's wildlife sightings list are a merlin and a marsh harrier. The number of ducks, wigeon, teal, pintail and shoveler is increasing daily as they arrive to enjoy our wetlands (which are now very wet).

    Here's the sightings list from today (and yesterday):

    Meanwhile, out on the wooded heath the rain has done a good job at prompting some marvellous mushrooms to pop up amongst the leaf litter…

    • 5 Oct 2021
  • Fascinated by fungi? Follow our self-led trail this October

    Many of you will be pleased to learn that I started to set up our fungi trail around the wooded heathland trail yesterday.
    At the moment, the best spot is Black Wood as the damp conditions there are favoured by many of our species of fungus. If you're not familiar with this part of the nature reserve, follow the public footpath on the wooded heathland down towards the pond and then head through the pedestrian gate…
    • 29 Sep 2021
  • Willow Emerald Damselflies – the wait is over!

    Thanks to volunteer Phil for this report and for all his hard work surveying dragonflies & damselflies at our Arun Valley reserves this year.

    I first became aware of willow emerald damselflies about 7 years ago when some naturalist friends were considering a trip to East Anglia to find this relatively new species for the UK which had spread from Europe, maybe as a result of climate change.   A little research established…

    • 20 Sep 2021
  • Cafe & shop closures this week

    Just a couple of updates on our Visitor Centre facilities for this week
    Our cafe is closed today (Mon 20 Sep) and tomorrow (Tues 21 Sep) for staff training.
    The shop is closed from 2 pm on Thurs 23 Sep until 12 noon on Fri 24 Sep for a stocktake.
    The Nature trails, toilets and outdoor welcome hub are open as normal 10 am - 4 pm.
    Sorry for any disappointment.
    From the Pulborough Brooks team
    • 20 Sep 2021
  • Free event - Secrets of the Heath: Wonders of Wiggonholt

    Secrets of the Heath: Wonders of Wiggonholt

    Saturday 21 August 2021, 11am-4pm

    Wiggonholt Heath, RSPB Pulborough Brooks nature reserve

    Join Heathlands Reunited and RSPB Pulborough Brooks for an exciting day exploring the heathland at Wiggonholt.

    Follow the heathland superheroes trail, go on a bug hunt, discover heathland history, listen to a tale or two, create your own heathland critter, meet a reptile, and have a Stone…

    • 14 Aug 2021
  • We’re going on a bee hunt…

    Many of you who visit us in the summer months will enjoy the butterflies and dragonflies that you can see around the nature trail, but how many of you have been on a bee hunt?

    Start off in the car park and look for the volcano-like mounds of sandy soil on the banked edges…these are the nests of Pantaloon bees (Dasypoda hirtipes). Pantaloon bees get their name from the females’ oversized orange pollen brushes on…

    • 13 Aug 2021
  • Habitat management update - protecting our precious chicks

    Redshank chick by Graham Osborne

    As our regular visitors will know, for the past 5 years or so we have spent a significant amount of time each spring putting up temporary anti-predator fences on the South Brooks.  This followed on from nest monitoring studies which showed a high level of nest predation and that the majority of nest predation was mammalian (primarily fox, occasionally badger). Our wardens set up a 2 km…

    • 2 Aug 2021
  • A new dragonfly hotspot

    The British Dragonfly Society certainly picked a good week for 'Dragonfly Week' this year with lots of dragonflies and damselflies emerging, perching and hunting around the ponds and ditches on the reserve.  

    We can also announce a new species for Pulborough Brooks - a Southern Migrant Hawker dragonfly, found and photographed by Graham who is one of our volunteers.

    Southern migrant hawker by Graham Osborne


    • 25 Jul 2021
  • Facilities update - shop and cafe now open daily

    Gatekeeper butterfly - photo by Gareth Hughes

    Welcome back! As restrictions have eased further in England, we’re excited to continue to have many of our facilities OPEN for your visit! Here’s a summary of what’s available  

    Open daily, dawn til dusk:

    • Car park
    • Nature reserve trails 
    •  Hides - all 4 of our hides are now open

     Open daily 10 am – 4 pm 

    • Outdoor, staffed Welcome Point 
    • Toilets 
    • Café - take…
    • 25 Jul 2021
  • Habitat management work update - mid July

    We have a busy few months ahead out on the wet grassland with two significant projects being delivered on top of the annual habitat management work.   Whilst this work is being undertaken there will inevitably be some disturbance so we thought you’d like to know what we’re up to…

    Our first project the ‘wetland enhancement’ project will kick off next week and has been designed to improve the wet grassland…

    • 10 Jul 2021
  • This is the blog to look at if you ever need cheering up...lovely wader chicks

    I'm not going to write much this morning but will simply let you indulge in this lovely series of photos from our volunteer Graham Osborne...


    Avocet chasing off redshank

    Avocet chasing off mallard

    And this is why the avocet is being rather over-protective!

    Our avocet pair have 3 chicks who are getting bolder as they explore West Mead pool, but who do still retreat for cover and warmth.

    Joining the West…

    • 29 Jun 2021
  • Great news! West Mead hide is open.

    Great news! West Mead hide is open.
    Thanks to our volunteers for doing the repairs and cleaning.
    Even better news! You can see avocet, lapwing and redshank chicks from the hide (and mallard ducklings).

    Photo by volunteer Phil Thornton
    Please follow all guidance on hides doors regarding face masks, maximum capacity and social distancing.
    The vegetation alongside the path on the approach to the hide is…
    • 26 Jun 2021
  • Would you or someone you know like to be a warden at Pulborough Brooks nature reserve?

    Would you or someone you know like to be a warden at Pulborough Brooks nature reserve?

    The RSPB team in Sussex are seeking a dynamic, resourceful and motivated warden to join a reserves team managing four natures reserves totalling over 500 hectares of nature reserves in the South Downs National Park, including Pulborough Brooks, one of the most visited RSPB reserves in the UK. These diverse nature reserves comprise of…

    • 24 Jun 2021
  • Car park & nature trail closures during evening events

    We'll be closing our car park and nature trails at 7 pm on the evenings when we are holding night-time safari events. This is to ensure that numbers are limited to those who have booked places and so that social distancing can be maintained at our key viewpoints. 

    If you are visiting the reserve on these dates please make sure that you are off site by 7 pm as the gate will be closed to all visitors other than event…

    • 8 Jun 2021
  • Fast and fierce – the four-spotted chaser dragonfly

    Four-spotted chaser dragonfly by Graham Osborne

    Much of the four-spotted chaser’s life is spent hidden in the murky depths of the heathland pond. Around four weeks the after the female has laid her eggs the larvae hatch taking a minimum of two years in larval form to complete their development. The larvae are ambush predators, covered in numerous hair-like structures which trap debris, they are well camouflaged hiding…

    • 7 Jun 2021
  • Nightingale news and other sightings...

    I am delighted to report that we've had a great year for nightingales on the reserve with at least 10 males singing around the nature trails.

    Our first nightingale was reported very early on 4 April ( I usually predict they will arrive between the 10th and the 12th) but there was very little singing for the first couple of weeks.  Perhaps the males who had arrived first realised that the females would be unlikely to…

    • 1 Jun 2021
  • Poor man's buttonholes and pixie flowers

    An introduction to one of our prettiest spring flowers – Greater Stitchwort

    This pretty starry white springtime flower growing to calf height is often found thriving alongside red campion and bluebells on our woodland floors and grass verges.

    Greater Stitchwort by Chris Prince

    The plant’s name ‘Stitchwort’ refers to it ability to cure the pain associated with runners stitch. However there are many more documented…

    • 29 May 2021
  • We're excited to be able to open some of our hides again from Monday (17 May)

    Nightingale by Graham Osborne

    We’re excited to be able to open some of our hides again for your visit! Here’s a summary:

    Winpenny hide and Nettley’s hide will be open from Monday (17 May) from 10 am. West Mead hide and Little Hanger hide remain closed for now.

    You’ll notice we’ve made a few changes to keep everyone safe:

    • Seating is spaced out at 2m intervals, to allow for social distancing…
    • 13 May 2021