Outdoor access and recreation – 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 a map of the location of England’s NNRs on the MAGIC website.

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.

Find out more about each reserve and their special features in the county lists, grouped by region, below.

Visit a National Nature Reserve

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

Most NNRs have some form of access and many have extensive path networks and access land. However, some NNRs are difficult to access because they are remote, have rugged terrain or sensitive habitats. See reserve information in the county lists below.

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

NNR visitor survey

If you’ve been to one of the 143 NNRs managed by Natural England, let us know what you thought of your visit by completing this short survey. Your feedback will be used to help improve our service to you and in deciding how best to manage NNRs for visitors and nature.

To comment on an NNR managed by another organisation, follow the link to that organisation’s website from the reserve’s entry in a county list below.

East Midlands NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the East Midlands

    • 26 June 2013
    • Map
  2. Derbyshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 1 October 2014
    • Corporate report
  3. Leicestershire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  4. Lincolnshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  5. Northamptonshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 1 October 2014
    • Corporate report
  6. Nottinghamshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 1 October 2014
    • Corporate report

East of England NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the east of England

    • 19 June 2013
    • Map
  2. Bedfordshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  3. Cambridgeshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  4. Essex's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  5. Hertfordshire's National Nature Reserve

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  6. Norfolk's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  7. Suffolk's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report

North East NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the north east of England

    • 11 September 2014
    • Map
  2. Cleveland's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 September 2014
    • Corporate report
  3. Durham's National Nature Reserves

    • 1 September 2014
    • Corporate report
  4. Northumberland's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 September 2014
    • Corporate report

North West NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the north west of England

    • 28 June 2013
    • Map
  2. Cumbria's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 September 2014
    • Corporate report
  3. Cheshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 September 2014
    • Corporate report
  4. Lancashire's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 September 2014
    • Corporate report
  5. Merseyside's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 September 2014
    • Corporate report

London and the South East NNRs

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

    • 28 June 2013
    • Map
  2. Berkshire's National Nature Reserve

    • 2 August 2014
    • Corporate report
  3. Buckinghamshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 August 2014
    • Corporate report
  4. East Sussex's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 August 2014
    • Corporate report
  5. Greater London's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 August 2014
    • Corporate report
  6. Hampshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 August 2014
    • Corporate report
  7. Isle of Wight's National Nature Reserve

    • 2 August 2014
    • Corporate report
  8. Kent's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 August 2014
    • Corporate report
  9. Oxfordshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 August 2014
    • Corporate report
  10. Surrey's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 August 2014
    • Corporate report
  11. West Sussex's National Nature Reserves

    • 2 August 2013
    • Corporate report

South West NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the south west of England

    • 28 June 2013
    • Map
  2. Avon's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  3. Cornwall's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  4. Devon's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  5. Dorset's National Nature Reserves

    • 1 December 2008
    • Corporate report
  6. Gloucestershire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  7. Somerset's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  8. Wiltshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report

West Midlands NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in the West Midlands

    • 26 June 2013
    • Map
  2. Herefordshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 1998
    • Corporate report
  3. Shropshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  4. Staffordshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  5. West Midlands National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  6. Worcestershire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report

Yorkshire and the Humber NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves in Yorkshire and the Humber

    • 28 June 2013
    • Map
  2. East Riding of Yorkshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  3. North Lincolnshire National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  4. North Yorkshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report
  5. South Yorkshire's National Nature Reserves

    • 31 October 2008
    • Corporate report

Public access on NNRs

  1. National Nature Reserves: improved public access

    • 17 September 2014
    • Corporate report

Volunteering with Natural England

  1. Volunteering with Natural England: how to get involved

    • 30 July 2015
    • Detailed guide

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.

  1. Research opportunities on National Nature Reserves in England

    • 28 November 2014
    • Corporate report