• 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
  • Saltholme Pools Hide - closure summer 2018

    The latest instalment of the Saltholme Washlands Project is expected to be underway from Monday 16 July 2018. This initial phase will see work begin on Saltholme Pools hide, as we begin installation of the long awaited tower infill, giving spectacular elevated views across Saltholme Pools and its soon to be re-landscaped edges.

    This does mean that from Monday 16 July Saltholme Pools hide will be closed until the work…

    • 2 Jul 2018
  • Saltholme Pools Hide

    The latest instalment of the Saltholme Washlands Project is expected to be underway from Monday 16 July 2018. This initial phase will see work begin on Saltholme Pools hide, as we begin installation of the long awaited tower infill, giving spectacular elevated views across Saltholme Pools and its soon to be re-landscaped edges.

    This does mean that from Monday 16 July Saltholme Pools hide will be closed until the work…

    • 2 Jul 2018
  • A Different World

    The sun sparkles off the lake as I make my way to the new “office”- Saltholme RSPB Nature reserve. Its mid-May. Spring has awoken all over the reserve, Hawthorns fizz with champagne white blossom and tingle with life as birds and insects alike thrive within its undergrowth. By the ponds, flashes of brilliant blues and reds can be seen as damselflies emerge from aquatic hiding. The occasional electric buzz rings through…

    • 20 Jun 2018
  • Lap Lap Lap Lap Lapwing Lay a little egg for me


    It has been quite some time since I last wrote a blog, this is because I have been busy helping with surveys around the site.

    This week has been a bumper week in terms of monitoring with lots of exciting animals being seen around the reserve, especially chicks!

    On Saturday the Tees Ringing Group were in checking nest boxes around the reserve. They found tiny tree sparrow chicks and well grown blue tit chicks…

    • 13 Jun 2018
  • Spoonbill, Cranes and Ringed Plovers RSPB Saltholme 7th- 13th of April 2018


    It’s been a while since I have written a sightings post for RSPB Saltholme. The run up to the breeding season has proven to be very busy as we prepare the reserve for all things great and small. This week has been a special one for sightings despite the weather!

    On Saturday 7th April 6 cranes were spotted flying north over the reserve, to add to the excitement a Spoonbill was spotted the following morning…

    • 13 Apr 2018
  • Life with plastic, it's not fantastic…


    Our everyday lives involve so much plastic that it is hard to imagine life without it. Just think about how much plastic you have handled in the last week and you will get some idea of the scale of the problem. Where does all that plastic go? Can it be recycled? Most of the time plastic ends up polluting different habitats around the world. The marine environment suffers greatly from the plastic problem. It has…

    • 17 Mar 2018
  • Recent Sightings Vlog 3rd-9th February 2018


    Inspired by our colleagues at Frampton Marsh we have decided to try out a new way of communicating current wildlife sightings on the reserve. Today I got the ball rolling with our first video blog featuring wildlife watching highlights from the past week, enjoy!

    Our video blog can be viewed on the Saltholme YouTube channel or click the play button on the image below.


    Hopefully see you soon…

    • 10 Feb 2018
  • Swan wars episode 2 – revenge of the duck strikes back

    A new darkness has fallen. A new army of clone ducks is ruled by Donald Duck, who controls the ducks with …….. tweets. He is helped by Darth Huey, Darth Dewey, Darth Louie and Vladimir Puffin, even though he lives far, far away on a different land mass, although it is not blatantly obvious that this is true. Barrack Obarnowl has been frozen in a large block of stuff by Vladimir Puffin, but Princess Kylie dresses up in…

    • 4 Feb 2018
  • Not that long ago, in a nature reserve, not very far away………


    Cue the music


    It is time of great unrest on the main lake of Saltholme. Birds live in fear of the Emperor Hissy and his evil hench swan, Darth Scratchy and the clone ducks. A small band or rebels are led by George Icewalker, the black swan who came here from Australia with his sister Kylie. But no-one has seen Princess Kylie for some time now and George fears the worst, that she has been imprisoned and will be forced…

    • 26 Jan 2018
  • Hog help 2

    On the 11th December, I wrote about how hedgehogs wake periodically through the winter, and it is important to try and provide food for them when they do. From experience, it seems that a warm spell following a frozen spell is when they are likely to wake. And sure enough, yesterday afternoon, Michael the 3 legged hedgehog who lives in my garden, emerged from his box and started rooting around in the leaves. Luckily,…

    • 24 Jan 2018