• Let them eat Cake

    Image Credit: Drew Buckley (RSPB Images)

    It’s National Cake Day! So, the café team has ‘stollen’ the limelight this week. It’s far from a piece of cake to run such a large part of Saltholme, so it’s only right that we let the team have their cake and eat it. We’ll still do our weekly round-up of reserve news, so you could say this is the icing on the cake!

    So, what do the café…

    • 26 Nov 2021
  • Soup, Starlings and Stonewort

    With the soup and starlings event well underway, it's been another busy week for the team at Saltholme. But with spectacular sunsets, sightings of the bittern (amongst many other species), and a mug of soup with which to enjoy the view, what's not to like? Read on for the weekly reserve round-up! 

    News from the Estate:

    As usual, the estates team have been very busy making sure the reserve remains in the best possible…

    • 19 Nov 2021
  • Hen harriers, terns, and soup.

    With the year marching on, the Soup and Starlings event is getting underway with style. But it's not just starlings that have been the star of the show this week...read on to find out more! 

    News from the Estate:

    Moving the tern rafts on the main lake. The rafts are moved to the far end of the lake, to protect them from the winter weather. 

    On Thursday, the estates work party moved the main lake tern rafts to their…

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

    We’re delighted to be partnering with Netflix and Aardman on Robin Robina 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 Saltholme nature reserve this Christmas season.

    Over 30 RSPB nature…

    • 11 Nov 2021
  • Remember Remember...

    Image Credit: Lydia Cave

    The old rhyme may tell us to remember ‘gunpower treason and plot’ today, but you should also remember our wildlife when you’re lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks! In fact, we see no reason why gunpower treason OR wildlife should ever be forgot!

    There are some simple things you can do to make sure your Bonfire Night celebrations have a minimal effect on animals:

    • Check…
    • 5 Nov 2021
  • COP26 Special

    Image Credit: Ben Andrew, RSPB Images

    The climate summit in Glasgow, COP26, starts on Sunday 31 October. So, as well as keeping you up-to-date with all that has been happening at Saltholme, we want to tell you more about this crucial conference. There will be a bit of climate jargon in today’s blog post, so we’ve put in a glossary at the bottom of this post.  

    What is COP26, and why is it important?


    • 29 Oct 2021
  • Surveys, Sunsets and Spellbooks

    Sunset over Saltholme

    Image Credit: Ian Chadwick.

    This week, the team at Saltholme have been preparing for the upcoming half-term holidays. With all the gorgeous autumnal sunlight we have had this week, and the array of wildlife that has been spotted on the reserve, we are hoping lots of you will be visiting us next week for Halloween fun and wildlife sightings. 

    News from the Estate:

    On Sunday 18 October, some of our…

    • 22 Oct 2021
  • Autumn has Arrived!

    Image Credit: Ray Kennedy, RSPB Images

    There has definitely been a nip in the air this week, as we speed through October at an alarming rate. At the turn of the season, Saltholme is as magnificent as ever. Read on to discover what has been happening this week! 

    News from the Estate:

    Visitors in the café may have noticed the estates team working in front of the sand martin bank on Tuesday. They have cleared the vegetation…

    • 16 Oct 2021
  • A Week of New and Rare Sightings

    Welcome to the latest blog post!

    Saltholme has seen some mixed weather this week… Tuesday in particular was fit for neither man nor beast. But the sunshine from Wednesday has more than made up for it. In fact, plenty of wildlife has been out and about soaking up the last of the summer rays. The estates team have also been most of the good weather and are performing their usual invaluable roles on the reserve.

    • 8 Oct 2021
  • This Week at Saltholme- 1 October 2021

    Welcome to this new series of blog posts! We'll be checking in each week with a blog post to keep you up-to-date on what is happening on the reserve. 

    At Saltholme, there is always something going on. The last two weeks have been no different- as summer draws to a close, the dragonflies have been making the most of the remaining sunshine. Species that use the reserve in the warmer months, such as terns, are leaving…

    • 1 Oct 2021
  • Are we nearly there yet?

    We have partnered with Durham University on their Public Engagement in Science module this year and this blog was produced by a student as part of their work towards the module.


    Many bird species migrate, often to breed or to find food, but have you ever wondered how birds navigate? How do they find the same places each year?

    There’s no definite answer; one theory suggests that birds use the Earth’s magnetic field.…

    • 28 May 2021
  • Prehistoric Plant discovered at RSPB Saltholme

    Critically endangered Bearded Stonewort, a species of plant that dates back 460 million years, has been found in newly created ponds at RSPB Saltholme, making us only the second known site in England to support this rare plan...
    • 3 Mar 2021
  • A tale of too much and too little water

    Here at RSPB Saltholme we've had two very contrasting challenges over the last few weeks. The culvert linking the Holme Fleet to the River Tees is blocked. This means that the southern end of the site is under water. Not a major problem, but the leve...
    • 17 Feb 2021
  • Investigating - Dragonfly ponds

    A year ago we had a team of excavators and dumpers working on our new dragonfly walk area as part of our SWaP project. The aims is improve some of the habitats of the reserve and increase the viewing pleasure of our many visitors. 

    This time last year, the last of nineteen new ponds was completed.  The ponds are of different shapes, sizes and depths with four of them designed to hold water only through part of the year…

    • 31 Oct 2020
  • Update 24 March 2020 - Saltholme closure

    Following the latest clear instructions from the Government for us all to remain at home apart from a limited number of allowed activities, we are closing our reserve to visitors until further notice.


    This means we will close our car park and there will be no public access to the reserve. These measures are on top of the existing closure of our visitor centre, cafe, shop, playground and hides. It is with great sadness…

    • 24 Mar 2020
  • RSPB Saltholme - Covid-19 update 21/3/20

    As many of you will know, in light of the current government advice regarding Covid-19 and for the safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors we have taken the decision to close the Visitor Centre, Café, Shop and Playground from 4pm Wednesday 18 March.


    We will keep regular opening hours for the reserve, however to comply with social distancing guidelines all hides will be closed until further notice.



    • 21 Mar 2020
  • #SeaShoreGuardians Litter picks

    I have taken part in two fantastic beach clean-ups this year and just wanted to share some of my thoughts on what I learnt from them. We are grateful to SC Johnson whose generous sponsorship made these fantastic events possible.

    I am also grateful to Matt from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) who ran both events for us. The first was at South Gare on 18 January and the second was at North Gare on 23 February. In…

    • 2 Mar 2020
  • Recruiting Now For Volunteer Practical Conservation Interns in Northern England

    We’re currently recruiting our next intake of Volunteer Practical Conservation Interns, a fantastic opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required for a career in conservation and to join the Northern England reserve teams at the Aire Valley, Leighton Moss and Saltholme.

    Two of our previous Interns, Emma Higgs and Tom Irvine, have kindly taken the time to summarize their experience of the role:

     “My goal…

    • 23 Dec 2019
  • Upcoming changes at Saltholme

    RSPB Saltholme is a nature oasis situated right in the heart of the Tees Valley and is a vital home for nature. Throughout the year, Saltholme is a haven for a menagerie of wildlife. Saltholme wet grassland - credit: David Morris The whole site is S...
    • 18 Dec 2019
  • Marsh harrier fledging success!

    We are excited to annouce that we have had two marsh harrier chicks fledge this summer. Thanks to the hard work of the team in managing the reedbed habitat, the birds have bred on the site for the first time since it opened in 2009. Prior to this we believe the last time marsh harrier successfully bred on this area was in the 1990's!

    Image credit: Les Bunyan (rspb-images.com)

    Image credit: Les Bunyan (rspb-images.com)

    Marsh harrier populations declined in…

    • 2 Aug 2019
  • Saltholme electricity generation plant

    You may have seen a news article recently about the plans for a power station built on land adjacent to RSPB Saltholme. Over the past 10 years, we have, with the support of landowners Teesside Environmental Trust, created a haven for nature in the heart of one of the UK’s most industrialised areas. Here are some of the facts relating to this proposed development:

    • A planning application for a gas peaking plant…

    • 21 Jun 2019
  • Autumn Delights

    The wind whips across the lake and sends ripples of water spinning in all directions; Autumn is unleashed at Saltholme.  For me, this time of year is as much about sounds and textures as it is about beautiful colours; a season of hot chocolates, wind-swept landscapes, and of course, moving a little out of one’s way to step on that crunchy leaf. 

    Unlike balmy summer days, there’s an air of freshness and trepidation…

    • 26 Sep 2018
  • Under the boardwalk and in the long grasses- A July day in the learning team

    Speckles of colour dot the meadow in the Discovery Zone as flowers burst through long wispy grass.  June drifts lazily into July.  As the sun’s warmth heats up the ground, the paths become awash with damselflies and butterflies, some clinging to grass, others bravely investigating into the undergrowth.  It seems a great time to investigate not only what flies and crawls through our meadow, but what lies beneath the…

    • 4 Sep 2018
  • Saltholme's First Big Wild Sleep Out 2018

    Well you certainly can't control the weather!

    After what was shaping up to be a long hot summer we originally scheduled of first ever Big Wild Sleep Out for the end of July.

    What could be better?

    Long summer days, the chance to sit on our meadow enjoying the plethora of wildlife surrounding you, before heading off to explore the reserve, maybe some sweep netting in the long grass as the warm summer breeze wafts…

    • 19 Aug 2018
  • Summer at Saltholme


    The weather has been good at Saltholme over the last few months with hardly no rain and glorious sunshine. There has been brilliant sightings of butterflies, moths, dragonflies, damselflies and birds.


    One of the special jobs we undertake on site is a butterfly transect in which we walk along a specific route recording butterflies. The other day we recorded 15 species including holly blue, wall and…

    • 10 Aug 2018