Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve, RSPB Newport Wetlands, Nash, NP18 2BZ. OS Grid Ref: ST 334 834
Newport Wetlands is a National Nature Reserve with many acres of reedbeds and wetlands crossed by easy to navigate paths.
A wide range of bird species use the reedbeds and mudflats to shelter, nest and find food, so you will spot many.
The visitor centre has toilets, a café and shop.
What to see
Newport Wetlands is best known for its range of wetland birds, from the beautifully marked bearded tit perching at the top of the reeds, to the dainty little egret, fishing in the pools.
In the autumn, goldfinch can be seen feeding on the seed heads of teasel and the starling roost during autumn and winter is a stunning wildlife spectacle at dusk.
At the estuary, see which birds are using the extensive mud flats – look out for Dunlin, Redshank or Oystercatchers probing the mud.
The wetlands are not just home to birds though, so keep your eyes open for bumblebees, dragonflies, butterflies and moths during the summer months – perhaps you will spot Newport’s rare shrill carder bee?
Grass snakes may be seen soaking up the sun at the edge of paths or swimming amongst the reeds.
The reserve is also home to mammals such as badgers, moles, wood mice and otters.
When it comes to plants, the reserve is also home to many species of orchid, including the striking bee orchid.
This reserve at the mouth of the river Usk was opened in 2000 to compensate for loss of extensive mudflats with the completion of the Cardiff Bay barrage.
It stretches from Goldcliff to Uskmouth and was once an ash covered wasteland for the neighbouring coal-fired Uskmouth power station.
The reserve covers 4.38 sq km (438 hectares) and provides a variety of habitats including reedbeds, saltmarsh, saline lagoons and lowland wet grassland.
In 2008 it was designated as a National Nature Reserve.
The reserve is open every day and is free to visit. The car park is unlocked 8.30am – 5.30pm and the visitor centre is open 9am – 5pm.
Newport Bus service number 63 to Whitson stops at the reserve car park.
Almost all of the paths around the reedbeds are accessible to wheelchairs and there are benches approximately every 100 metres.
The paths are level with some gentle slopes and a zig-zag ramp to climb the five metres up to the raised reedbed levels.
There are some floating walkways suitable for wheelchairs with caution.
Three mobility scooters and two wheelchairs can be hired free of charge from the RSPB visitor centre, booking is recommended, call (01633) 636363.
Dogs are allowed in certain parts of the reserve only and must always be on a lead. A map can be obtained from the visitor centre.
The All Wales Coast Path goes through the reserve.
The RSPB has an education programme run by field teachers for visiting school and youth groups with sessions covering a range of curriculum topics.
These visits must be pre-booked in advance, contact the education team on (01633) 636363.
There are areas of deep water across the reserve so please stick to the paths and boardwalks.