The East Chevington nature reserve can be found adjacent to the Druridge Bay Country Park; to the south of Amble; and to the North of Druridge Pools and Cresswell Pond. This large reserve, surrounded by reed beds, grassland and woodland, has been managed by the Northumberland Wildlife Trust since 2003. There are two large lakes; a north pool and a south pool. There are four metal hides along the eastern side of the north pool and there is a screen overlooking the south pool. There is one locked hide at the entrance to the site which is not accessible to the public. This is used for educational purposes.
East Chevington is a relatively new reserve which has fast grown into a major nature reserve in the County.
The site runs alongside Druridge Bay and it’s beutiful beaches and Sand Dunes. At times, coastal birds come to visit which can include Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes, Black-throated, Great-Northern and Red-throated Divers, Long-tailed Duck, Red-breasted Merganser, Common, Arctic, Sandwich, Little and Reseate Terns, Arctic, Great and Pomarine Skua’s. Also coastal waders, such as Knot, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover and Turnstone are recorded.
Stonechats are common along the outskirts and are joined by migrants such as Whinchat, Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail in the spring/summer. The surrounding Reed beds/Woodland is rich in birds which can include Chiffchaff, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat in the spring/summer and Crossbill, Goldfinch, Long-tailed Tit, Redpoll, Siskin and Willow Tit at anytime.
This site boasts a large selection of birds and often in good numbers, and is a great place to visit all year round. This remains a good site to view Great Crested Grebes in the summer, and there are usually more than one pair present accompanied by over a dozen Little Grebes. East Chevington is rich in wildfowl all year round. Species to watch out for include Gadwall, Goldeneye, Pintail, Pochard, Scaup, Shoveler, Teal and Tufted Duck. During the winter large flocks of Geese can be present in the area, which can include Bean, Greylag, Pink-footed and White-fronted Geese; Bewick and Whooper Swans are also noted at times.
Waders present can include: Common, Curlew, Green and Wood Sandpipers, Little and Temminck’s, Stint, Bar and Black-tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Redshank and Spotted Redshank; and Curlew and Whimbrel. During years, where water levels are lower in the autumn, a larger selection of waders can be present.
It is always a good idea to watch out for Bitterns, Jack Snipe and Water Rail. At times Great White Egret, Little Egret or Spoonbill come to visit.
During a sunny afternoon in 2013 three rarities came to visit; a Pectoral Sandpiper, a Spotted Crake and a White-rumped Sandpiper. At times they were side by side together with some Curlew and Wood Sandpipers. As the birds started to move in different directions, birders had to choose, which to follow with their binoculars and telescopes. Which would you choose?
A Little Egret
To the south of the reserve there is a smaller lake. This can also be accessed from a narrow road, via the A1068. There is parking available here also, however spaces are limited. There are large holes in this road at times, so visitors are recommended to take care. Again in 2013; which turned out to be great year for East Chevington, a Purple Heron came to visit and birders gathered close to the south pool to enjoy this wonderful Heron. Green-winged Teal has also been present some years on this lake.
East Chevington continues to impress and is fast evolving into an amazing wildlife habitat. Thanks again to the Northumberland Wildlife Trust which continues to conserve and protect the counties wildlife and their habitats. Under their caring stewardship, East Chevington has blossomed into a wildlife oasis for everyone to enjoy. There are also great facilities nearby with toilets, a cafe and free parking at the Druridge Bay Country Park which is next door.
To the south-east of the reserve, as the sand dunes meet with the beaches of Druridge Bay, you come to Chevington Burn. This area can be popular with Water Pipits, Shorelarks, Twite and Snow Bunting.
NZ 271 982
Accompanied wheelchairs users can enjoy this nature reserve and many of the hides are quite spacious.
A downloadable access sheet is available from the NWT website at www.nwt.org.uk
There are toilets and a cafe at the Druridge Bay Country Park.
Parking is available on site by following the small unclassified road from opposite the Red Row turning. Further parking is available at the Druridge Bay Country Park. Please do not block gates into fields.
More information is available from the NWT website at www.nwt.org.uk