Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre is one of the best wildlife-watching spots in the North East. Right next to the beach, it offers fantastic views across the length of Druridge Bay and is internationally renowned for its birds. Hauxley Nature Reserve was originally part of Radcliffe open-cast mine but was purchased by Northumberland Wildlife Trust in 1983 and transformed into the haven for wildlife you see today.
The reserve has recently been extensively remodelled and extended, and the latest addition, the new eco-friendly building, has been a labour of love, being constructed by an army of dedicated volunteers. Believe it or not, it really is a straw-bale building and has a number of other highly innovative ‘green’ features that make it an appropriate home for a Wildlife Trust team. There is a host of wildlife including fabulous flowers such as viper’s bugloss, bloody cranesbill and northern marsh orchid. These attract a large variety of butterflies such as the common blue and the wall brown. We also get dragonflies and damselflies on the ponds, including the common hawker and the common darter. Chattering in the woods you might even see our red squirrels.
There’s lots to do including a new circular walk and 1 fully accessible trail to 2 accessible hides. There are 6 hides in total, including 1 members only hide, which give you a great opportunity to quietly observe a host of birds, including grey herons, tree sparrows, turnstones and shelducks. A wildlife sightings board in Reception is updated daily, so make sure you add yours! There’s also a rubbing disc trail and a natural play area, great for under 10s and we run events and activities during school holidays. The Lookout Café serves delicious cakes, freshly brewed coffee, snacks and refreshments in a fabulous setting – the views across the lake and the Bay are soul food! We also have a small shop for gifts and pocket money mementos – it all helps support NWT.