A safe haven bursting with wetland nature with something for all the family, this gorgeous nature reserve offers guided boat trips, an amazing boardwalk through the reedbeds, paved pathways and daily warden talks.
Meet wildfowl from around the world
Arundel Wetlands Centre is home to a collection of 30 species of wildfowl from around the world.
Meet the largest member of the pelican family – the incredible Dalmatian Pelicans – at Pelican Cove, then enter the new Coastal Creek aviary walk through experience to admire wetland birds soaring high and diving low.
What wildlife can be seen at Arundel Wetland Centre?
With eight unique hides with their kingfisher perches, artificial nesting banks and gravel nesting islands nearby, you can be sure to spot a huge variety of wildlife on every visit. All hides are directly on the water, whether that be a ditch, scrape, channel or pond.
As the seasons change, so do Arundel Wetland’s wild visitors.
In winter, look out for wading water rails and secretive snipe among the reeds along the edges ponds, channels and ditches. Red wing and fieldfare move through the reserve in December and bright bullfinches are bolder in the cold weather and easier to spot.
Kingfisher sightings increase, peaking in December and January when weather is coldest and fishing spots freeze over. These flashy fishermen like to perch on hand rails near the boat jetty to fish for roach and rudd below. They fly a circuit of the reserve, stopping at perches near the hides. A favourite spot is the deep water at the Ramsar hide.
Arundel has a roosting population of marsh harriers with up to 11 harriers roosting in the reedbeds in the winter months. The harriers arrive after 3.30 pm. Look for them above the reedbed from the Reedbed boardwalk or Scrape and Reedbed hides. Also keep an eye out for up to 200 pied wagtails and a dozen little egrets also coming in to roost in the late afternoon.
Cuckoos herald in the season; wildflowers bring pretty new colours to the valley; warblers are in full song; good numbers of snipe join other wading birds on the scrapes and chicks are everywhere, including newly-hatched lapwing and oystercatchers.
Pipistrelle bats emerge from their maternity roosts; the hammering of woodpeckers competes with summer bird song and the quacks of ducklings learning to swim; common sandpiper and green sandpiper visit; dragonflies dart above every pool and there are exciting pond-dipping discoveries to be made.
Barer trees make kingfishers easier to spot; water voles are fattening up for winter; the first of the winter migrants land, including tufted duck, pochard and mallard and, sometimes, 100 or more Canada geese. Numbers of wintering wildfowl start to increase like teal, gadwall, shoveler and shelduck.
Things for all the family
No matter what your age or interest, there’s plenty for everyone at Arundel Wetland Centre. With family friendly activities and crafts during holidays and half terms, there’s something new every season.
For those in need of refreshments, Arundel Wetland Centre has indoor seating overlooking the Arun Riverlife lagoon available for visitors with purchases from the Water’s Edge Cafe. For those bringing their own picnic, picnic areas are available throughout the site.