South Solway Mosses National Nature Reserve
The reserve comprises four of the best remaining peat bogs in Europe - Bowness Common, Glasson Moss, Wedholme Flow and Drumburgh Moss. All the mosses are under careful management to ensure the water table is kept at a consistently high level to encourage the growth of the peat-forming sphagnum mosses. There are various access points onto the mosses that provide options for short or longer walks: Drumburgh Moss can be accessed from the car park past Moss Cottage; Glasson Moss from the Bowness to Kirkbride road or from the caravan park access track. Bowness Common has several access points, one of which is from North Plain Farm via the RSPB reserve (see below) and another from Longcroft. Both access points lead to Rogersceugh Farm, which enjoys far-reaching views over the mosses to Scotland and the Lake District fells. Wedholme Flow is best accessed from the Kirkbride to Wigton road, where there are cycle racks, a car park, picnic tables and way-marked trails.
Campfield Marsh Nature Reserve, Bowness-on-Solway
Adjoining the Solway Mosses is this RSPB reserve of mudflats, salt marshes, raised bogs and unimproved farmland, forming a diverse mosaic of habitats that attracts a great variety of species including wildfowl, farmland birds, dragonflies, butterflies and great crested newts. Open all year round. Bird hide. Parking at North Plain Farm. Information panel.
Bowness-on-Solway Nature Reserve
Adjacent to Campfield Marsh is this former gravel extraction site of ponds and wetlands surrounded by unimproved grassland. A circular walk, partly by boardwalk, takes in the pools (including a pond dipping platform) and passes through flower-rich grasslands. Partially suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Free entry. Limited parking on verge next to reserve entrance.
Finglandrigg Wood National Nature Reserve
A fascinating mosaic of woodland, peat bog, heathland and rough pasture provides a diverse range of habitats that are managed for wildlife. Two way-marked routes can be followed through the reserve. Family activities organised on selected days in August. Interpretive panels and picnic tables. Leaflet available from Silloth Tourist Information Centre and from on-site dispenser. Parking and cycle racks in lay-by on B5307.
The sand and shingle spit north of Skinburness is renowned for its bird life. Throughout July, August and September, special bird watching walks to Grune Point take place every Thursday morning from the Tourist Information Centre. All walks led by RSPB members.
Mawbray Banks Nature Reserve
A sand dune system displaying the transition from vegetated shingle to dune grassland and heath. Many species of bird have been recorded - whinchat, curlew, ringed plover, oystercatcher, little tern and bar-tailed godwit. Natterjack toads breed in the ephemeral pools among the dunes. Ample car parking. Information panels on site. Nearby Wolsty Banks Nature Reserve is a similar habitat.
Crosscanonby Carr Nature Reserve
Created from a derelict car park, this wetland reserve now teems with life and is part of the Solway Coast AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Two ponds, a canalised beck, open fen carr and herb-rich meadows form a mosaic of habitats that attract a wealth of wildlife. A circular walk around the reserve is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs. Interpretation panels and picnic tables on site. Car parking and toilets nearby.