Rutland Water Nature Reserve (Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust + Anglian Water)
Reserve Name Rutland Water Nature Reserve
Managing Authority Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust + Anglian Water
Anglian Water Birdwatching Centre
Rutland Water Nature Reserve
Rutland LE15 8BT
Egleton Reserve – SK879073
Take the A6003 Oakham to Uppingham , Aprox 1 mile out of Oakham turn left signed Egleton and Reserve, at the end of the road there is a Car Park.
Disabled users can drop off or park in front of the Centre. Oakham station is 2 miles away, get a taxi to reserve. Rutland Tourism advised us in August 2016 that there are no wheelchair accessible taxis operating in the area! Contact: Phone 01572-770651 Fax: 01572-755931
Rutland Water Fish Ponds – SK884085
Take the A606 Oakham to Empingham and A1, aprox 1 mile from Oakham take a right turn towards Upper Hambleton, after 1/2 mile (if the road starts to climb, you’ve gone too far) there is a wide turn off to the left marked private road, there is room to pull over before the sign and plenty of room after it.
Parking & Toilet Provision
Description of Habitat & Facilities
The following report was submited by a dba member to help other members intending to visit…
England’s smallest county is a fabulous destination for birdwatching. There are accessibility issues for disabled persons, as you will see from my review. But don’t be put off, go to the Egleton reserve. Despite its problems it is still worth a visit and if you encounter difficulties do make your views known (please be constructive). Just off the A1, Oakham, the county town, it is a good base for touring the region. Apart from Rutland Water and Eyebrook Reservoir, the North Norfolk Coast and Gibraltar Point is only an hour and a half away; Welney, the Ouse and Nene Marshes are about an hour away (unless you get stuck behind a tractor!) as are Grafham Water and Paxton Pits. Check the English Tourist Board web site for disabled friendly accommodation or contact: Oakham TIC: Flore’s House, 34 High Street, Oakham, Rutland, LE15 6AL Tel: 01572 724329 Fax: 01572 724329.
2001: Full day rate: Adults £4.00; senior citizens £3.00,children under 16/student union card holders £2.00, disabled people and carers £2.00. Afternoon permits (from November to January only): £1 off normal prices. Permit for four consecutive days £12. Annual permits are available at a cost of £30.00. For members of the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust there is a concessionary rate of £15. Facilities: The Egleton Visitor Centre is fully accessible, with viewing over the lagoon and an hearing loop system to bring you the sounds of the reserve. Disabled toilets. Guide dogs only are permitted on the reserve. You can rent a motorised 4-seater buggy can be hired at £5.00 per half day, in winter only if paths are suitable, it is advised to book in advance.
I have visited this reserve on numerous occasions and have held an annual permit until last year. I’ve seen some good birds here, including Osprey. If you have a hide clamp, don’t bother with a tripod, as you will only really use your scope in the hides. Short people should take something to sit on to raise their height in the hides if using a scope on hide clamp. ( This is a very common problem everywhere as hides seem to be designed for men, not women of average height like me !) Take water and food with you. Be prepared for a full day of birdwatching. There are two trails at the Egleton reserve with a total of 14 hides. There is no circular walk, so you have to retrace your steps to get back to the centre and to start the next trail. Both trails are extremely long, although there are some benches along the way, your resting points are mainly the hides. For those who cannot walk very far make use of the electric buggy! Although the majority of the hides at the Egleton reserve are deemed suitable for wheelchair users, the hides themselves are difficult to get to for the majority of the year.
The problem with the Egleton reserve, is that the path has locations that are under water during the whole of the winter months ! Last winter a lake formed in front of one of the hides. This does make it impassable for wheelchair users, and those renting out the motorised buggy are told it is only for hire subject to path condition! The path going from the centre towards Lax Hill (the South Side) starts off in a wooded area ( lots of Tree Sparrows) unfortunately the path looks as though it has a series of speed bumps, giving any wheelchair user a rollercoaster ride. The path situation has existed for a number of years, but has not improved. This is a shame, as this is a super reserve that could be improved for all users if this problem was tackled. At present this is hardly the “first class facilities for disabled persons” (RW web site) that we should expect, particularly at the current entrance fee. I have no experience of the Lyndon reserve.
Rutland Water Fish Ponds
These former fish ponds (pre reservoir) are now the North Arm of the reservoir. They attract good ducks including Goosanders (easier to see here than on the Reserve) and last year a Lesser Scaup. It is a site well worth checking out on the way to the reserve. It is on a private road, you can pull in and park on the side, from this raised point you can view this sheltered and rather secluded location as the hedge is quite low. You need not travel more than 20 yards from your car. Those who are able can walk down the private road to a stile giving access to fishermen. From there you can view the reservoir, although there are better locations to do this.
Description of Trails
Number of Hides
Description of Hides [By name or number]
Rutland Water Dam
This can be a good place to for wintering ducks ( I once saw many male Goldeneye performing their hilarious display at very close quarter). Access is from the Car Park (SK937083) nearest to the village of Empingham (also signposted for the Butterfly centre), through a kissing gate ( this is a share use path, so be prepared to dodge cyclists! Especially beware of those on bright orange rental bikes peddling rather shakily in sandals or high heels!) The best view is from the other side of the dam as the wall is too high for wheelchair users to peer over.
Date Last Updated