Collection

National Nature Reserves in England

Find out more about the reserves, where they are, who manages them and what special features or opportunities they offer.

National Nature Reserves (NNRs) were established to protect some of our most important habitats, species and geology, and to provide ‘outdoor laboratories’ for research. Most NNRs offer great opportunities to schools, specialist interest groups and the public to experience wildlife at first hand and to learn more about nature conservation.

There are currently 224 NNRs in England with a total area of over 94,400 hectares - approximately 0.7% of the country’s land surface. The largest is The Wash covering almost 8,800 hectares, while Dorset’s Horn Park Quarry is the smallest at 0.32 hectares. See:

Natural England manages about two thirds of England’s NNRs. The remaining reserves are managed by organisations approved by Natural England, for example, the National Trust, Forestry Commission, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and local authorities.

NNR partnership strategy: find out about the managing partners’ joint approach that puts NNRs at the heart of 21st century conservation.

Natural England issues a public notice when an NNR is created, extended or has a change of management.

Visit a National Nature Reserve

Natural England welcomes all visitors to the reserves they manage - they are free to enter.

Most NNRs have some form of access and many have extensive path networks and access land. Some NNRs are difficult to access because they are remote, have rugged terrain or sensitive habitats.

Follow the Countryside Code and respect any special notices at the reserve regarding dogs or sensitive habitats.

East Midlands NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the East Midlands

    • Map
  2. Derbyshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  3. Leicestershire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  4. Lincolnshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  5. Northamptonshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  6. Nottinghamshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report

East of England NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the east of England

    • Map
  2. Bedfordshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  3. Cambridgeshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  4. Essex's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  5. Hertfordshire's National Nature Reserve

    • Corporate report
  6. Norfolk's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  7. Suffolk's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report

North East NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the north east of England

    • Map
  2. Cleveland's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  3. Durham's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  4. Northumberland's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report

North West NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the north west of England

    • Map
  2. Cumbria's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  3. Cheshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  4. Lancashire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  5. Merseyside's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report

London and the South East NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in London and the south east of England

    • Map
  2. Buckinghamshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  3. East Sussex's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  4. Greater London's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  5. Hampshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  6. Isle of Wight's National Nature Reserve

    • Corporate report
  7. Kent's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  8. Oxfordshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  9. Surrey's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  10. West Sussex's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report

South West NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the south west of England

    • Map
  2. Avon's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  3. Cornwall's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  4. Devon's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  5. Dorset's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  6. Gloucestershire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  7. Somerset's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  8. Wiltshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report

West Midlands NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the West Midlands

    • Map
  2. Herefordshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  3. Shropshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  4. Staffordshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  5. West Midlands National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  6. Worcestershire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report

Yorkshire and the Humber NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in Yorkshire and the Humber

    • Map
  2. East Riding of Yorkshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  3. North Lincolnshire National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  4. North Yorkshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report
  5. South Yorkshire's National Nature Reserves

    • Corporate report

Public access on NNRs

Horse riding and cycling has been permitted on certain NNRs by relaxing the public access rules. See the maps to find out where you can ride a horse or cycle.

Find out more about Natural England’s work to secure public rights of access to NNRs:

  1. National Nature Reserves: improved public access

    • Corporate report

Volunteering with Natural England

Research opportunities for further education students

Dissertations and similar projects provide students with opportunities to work on high quality sites and to contribute to the research and management of Natural England’s NNRs. See the list of topic titles available for study.

Published 4 January 2009
Last updated 21 September 2017 + show all updates
  1. Link to NNR Strategy leaflet added.
  2. Revised introductory text.
  3. Link to a visitor survey added
  4. First published.