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Peterstone Wentlooge Marshes SSSI

This coastal reserve lies along the foreshore of the outer Severn Estuary. The path along the flood embankment affords excellent views of the tidal mudflats and saltmarsh, making this a good site for watching birds. The area is important during the spring and autumn migration of waders along the west coast of Britain, whilst offering a sanctuary for large numbers of birds in the winter.

Gwent Wildlife Trust owns the fishing rights to approximately two square kilometres of the foreshore, and has an agreement with the Wentlooge Wildfowling and Conservation Association to have a no shoot zone in an area on the west side of the mouth of the Peterstone Gout.

Species

In winter, the site supports waders such as oystercatcher, curlew, dunlin, redshank and knot. Turnstone and grey plover are among the other waders that occur here in smaller numbers. The site also provides a good habitat for different species of ducks including shelduck, teal, pintail and wigeon, and is one of the few coastal sites in Britain with regular numbers of shoveler. Lucky visitors may spot a short-eared owl quartering the saltmarsh, or a hunting peregrine or a merlin. Rarities spotted here include spotted crake, avocet and broad-billed sandpiper.

The pintail is an unmistakably elegant and attractive duck. It winters on lakes, marshes and estuaries.

Mudflats

The fragile mudflats found along the Severn Estuary are an important habitat supporting huge numbers of birds and fish. The sediments consist of silts, clays and organic matter. They are teeming with aquatic invertebrates including tiny snails, crustaceans and worms and provide feeding and resting areas for internationally important populations of waders and waterfowl. 

Access

Keep off the foreshore at Peterstone Wentlooge Marshes. This habitat is of international importance, and the birds using the foreshore are very sensitive to disturbance, as well as mudflats being dangerous to walk on. Visitors must never go beyond the top of the sea wall, and must also avoid disturbance of birds on the mudflats. Towards high tide, when the birds are closer to the sea wall, keep to the landward side of the sea wall, doing no more than peering over the top to avoid scaring off the ducks and waders.

Directions

Leave the M4 at Junction 28, taking the A48 towards Newport City Centre at the roundabout at the end of the slip road. At the next roundabout take the B4239 towards St Brides and Duffryn. At the mini roundabout take the B4239 to St Brides. Follow this road past Duffryn High School, across the narrow railway bridge and out of the city for about 8km to reach the village of Peterstone Wentlooge. Park across the road from the church, and follow the path alongside the church signposted Sea Wall (grid ref: parking ST 268 802, reserve ST 269 799).

Nearby reserves

The Allt-yr-Yn Local Nature Reserve is in Newport, with the Solutia Meadows and Magor Marsh reserves being on the Gwent Levels on the far side of Newport from Peterstone Wentlooge.

What to see around the reserve

You can get refreshments at the Six Bells Hotel in Peterstone Wentlooge. The Wales Coastal Path enables walkers to access and enjoy the Welsh coastline. The West Usk Lighthouse is a well-known local bed and breakfast. The Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve lies to the south-east of Newport – an outstanding site for birdwatching.

Nearby nature reserves

Great Traston Meadows SSSI
6 miles - Gwent Wildlife Trust
Allt-yr-Yn Local Nature Reserve
6 miles - Gwent Wildlife Trust
Dan-y-Graig
7 miles - Gwent Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Location
Peterstone Wentlooge
Newport
Gwent
Map reference
ST 269 799
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
Living Landscape schemes
Gwent Levels Living Landscape
Access
No

Walking information
Keep off the foreshore at Peterstone Wentlooge Marshes. This habitat is of international importance, and the birds using the foreshore are very sensitive to disturbance, as well as mudflats being dangerous to walk on. Visitors must never go beyond the top of the sea wall, and must also avoid disturbance of birds on the mudflats. Towards high tide, when the birds are closer to the sea wall, keep to the landward side of the sea wall, doing no more than peering over the top to avoid scaring off the ducks and waders.
Parking
Park in the lay by opposite the church.
Dogs
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Gwent Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01600 740600
info@gwentwildlife.org