RSPB Reserve

Visitor Centre
The Visitor Centre (Ack. 62)

The RSPB Reserve at Dungeness is the Society's longest running nature reserve and celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2021/22. The reserve occupies over 1000 hectares of the Dungeness peninsula which is the largest shingle formation of its kind in Europe.

The entrance to the reserve is off Dungeness Road, to the south east of Lydd. (see the location map on right). The Visitor Centre and car park is about a mile from the entrance; just follow the signs.

If you haven't been to Dungeness, nothing can quite prepare you for the landscape – mile after mile of shingle, which is wild and a little weird! On a cold winter's day, it is a delight to sit snug in the visitor centre and look out through a huge picture window at all the waterbirds on the large gravel pit just outside. Often a rare grebe or diver is among them.

The nature trails lead around a series of hides and lookouts where there is an excellent chance of seeing marsh harriers and a variety of wetland birds. There is plenty to be seen at other times too with June being particularly great for wildflowers! Did you know that Dungeness is home to roughly a third of the UK’s wildflower population? That is over 600 different species across the peninsular!

Dungeness's position, jutting into the English Channel, makes it ideally placed to watch for migrant birds arriving or departing, with wheatears, swallows, martins and warblers regularly seen. You never know what might show up day to day.

In spring and summer, a variety of birds breed on the reserve, including with the elusive bittern and marsh harrier which have improved in numbers year on year.

Dungeness is a great place for children to become 'wildlife detectives' and enjoy learning about nature with self-led pond dipping, binoculars available to hire, and other regular activities.

The RSPB are also the proud owners of Greatstone Lakes and the Sound Mirrors. Regular open days are run for visitors to explore the island and learn about the important role they played in history.
You can find out more about these events and book tickets here.
Website Icon Recent Sightings

Opening Times

The reserve is open daily (except December 25 and 26) from 9 am to 5 pm.
The Visitor Centre is open from 10 am to 4 pm.


Common Tern
Common Tern

Entrance Charges

RSPB members are free. Non-members: adults £5, students £3.50, child £2.50 (under 16’s) (Under 5’s free and first child free).

If you are new to birdwatching...

A good variety of waterfowl and seabirds can be easily seen from the visitor centre and hides. Staff are usually on hand in the visitor centre to help with identification. Guided walks run throughout the year.

Further Information

For more information about the RSPB reserve, please visit the RSPB  Reserve Dungeness website.

Shingle banks on the reserve
Shingle banks on the Reserve

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RSPB Visitor Centre
The Visitor Centre

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