Natural England’s National Nature Reserves are open to the public, and we welcome all our visitors to connect with nature and be inspired by our fantastic wildlife, habitats, geology and landscapes.
When visiting our reserves please follow the countryside code to enable everyone to enjoy, value and respect England’s most important places for nature.
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 221 NNRs in England with a total area of over 105,000 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 England, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts and local authorities.
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.