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Portbury Wharf
for wetland birds and meadow wildlife

Portbury Wharf lies on the land between Portishead and Royal Portbury Dock, adjacent to the Severn Estuary. Planning consent for the Port Marine housing development here was granted on condition that the developers designate a nature reserve on the adjoining land.

What to look out for

Large pools close to the foreshore of the estuary and the other areas of open water in the reserve provide an invaluable wetland habitat for rare species such as water vole and otter. Invertebrates like the hairy dragonfly can be seen here and greater horseshoe bat can be found hunting for insects here.

The grazing marsh areas are important for birds such as snipe and lapwing, and the hay meadows and hedgerows are rich in insect life, providing food and shelter for many small mammals, which in turn provide a meal for birds of prey including buzzards and owls.

Future plans

In 2014 we are launching a new project,  'A Year in the Life of Portbury Wharf' which will document the changing wildlife throughout the year. From winter visiting curlews and the unforgettable dawn chorus of spring, to the summer skylarks and autumn hedgerow harvests, we will be following nature month by month to create a journal that captures the highlights of Portbury Wharf's fantastic wetlands habitat. We would love to include your stories, photos, poems, drawings and observations so if you'd like to get involved contact Community Groups and Partnerships Manager, Julie Doherty for more information.

Plans for the future include provision for an educational facility for local schools and groups.

The site is funded through Port Marine Management Company that receives income from each of the residents on site.

Bird ringing at Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve


  Downloads (PDF)
Newsletter Reserve guide Bird list
Portbury Wharf
Newsletter Winter 2013
A guide to what to look
out for at this reserve
A complete list of birds recorded
on the reserve since 2005
Bird ID guide    
Portbury Wharf
Bird ID guide

Reserve information panels


  Getting there by
Bike View a location map of the reserve on the National Cycle Network website.
On foot The path and cycle way around the development will link to the segregated bridleway at Sheepway. The segregated bridleway provides access to the existing Wharf Lane access.
Public transport First bus 359 stops at the Sheepway entrance to the new bridleway. Go to www.traveline.org.uk

From the A369 Portbury Hundered, turn onto Station Road (signposted for Sheepway). Follow the road along for roughly 1.5km, and park in the layby on the right before the humped bridge where the road crosses the old railway tracks.

Please park considerately and do NOT block the horse gates in the layby.

Further information
Reserves in this area
Look for...

Cetti's warbler
David Kilbey

Barn owl
Gary Thorburn

Hairy dragonfly

Darin Smith

Oyster catcher

Water vole

reserve map
reserve map
Reserve map National Cycle Network
Location details
Grid ref
ST 482 761
Area 47 hectares
Nearest postcode to reserve BS20 7TB
(0.281 km from grid reference)