RSPB Scotland Mersehead nature reserve

Nature Centres & Reserves

Royal Society For The Protection Of Birds, Mersehead Nature Reserve, Southwick, Dumfries, Dumfries & Galloway, DG2 8AH

    Situated on the scenic north shore of the Solway coast, RSPB Mersehead is an extensive wetland and saltmarsh area, a haven for breeding waders, wintering waterfowl and year-round bird and wildlife-watching. Family friendly, with lots of activities.

    Discover the breathtaking scenery and wildlife of wetlands and coast in one of Scotland’s National Scenic Areas. Stroll along the nature trails and use the viewing hides to explore at your own pace. Hot drinks and ice cream are available in the visitor centre, where you can view sparrows, finches and buntings like yellowhammer and reed bunting visit a feeding station. Also, family activities and events are available all year round. The visitor centre is open all year round (10am to 5pm in summer, 10am to 4pm wintrer) with hides and trails open from dawn to dusk. For information about events on this reserve, check

    Spring is particularly magical, when the wet meadows fill with lapwings and skylarks, not to mention butterflies and wild flowers. The coastal walk follows an idyllic shoreline with sand dunes and a large, tidal sand flat. You might also see a roe deer or very rare natterjack toads. In autumn, thousands of barnacle and pink-footed geese start to arrive for the winter, creating a not-to-be-missed spectacle.

    4 Wildlife Experience
    Opening Times
    Open All Year
    2016 Opening Times
    1 Jan 2016 - 31 Dec 2016


    • Tea & Coffee Available There is a hot drinks machine available in our visitor centre.


    • Public Toilet Facilities


    • Coastal Location Reserve is situated in a National Scenic Area on the Solway Coast. Sand dunes and flats on coastline.
    • Rural Location


    • Accessible Parking or Drop Off Point In main car parking area close to entrance to visitor centre.
    • Coach Parking On-site on farm, close to Sulwath Centre.
    • Cycle Rack at car parking area
    • On Public Transport Route Bus service: 372 (Dumfries/Dalbeattie), passes reserve entrance. 1 mile walk to reserve.
    • Parking


    • Baby Changing Facilities Available
    • Children Welcome
    • Outdoor Play Area


    • Level Access Wheelchair access to visitor centre and Sulwath Centre buildlings.
    • No Smoking Permitted
    • Picnic Area At main car park and outside visitor centre entrance.

    Special Requirements

    • Children Welcome
    • Dogs Welcome This nature reserve is important for wildlife. RSPB Scotland welcomes responsible access, in line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. During the ground-nesting bird breeding season (1 April to 15 August) we would ask that you keep your dog close to you, preferably on a short lead and please clean up after your dog.
    • Families
    • School Groups Welcome

    Road Directions

    15 miles southwest of Dumfries, 7 miles southeast of Dalbeattie. Situated near Caulkerbush (Southwick) on the A710 road.

    Public Transport Directions

    Travel by car, cycle or bus (Service 372 – Dumfries/Dalbeattie).

    Transport within Scotland

    For public transport information to visit here from within Scotland, enter your postcode and visit date below.

    Journey Planner

    Access to Public Areas (Displays, exhibits, rides etc)

    • Level access (i.e. no steps or thresholds) or access by a ramp or lift to :
      • a public toilet suitable for visitors who use a wheelchair
      • the gift shop
      • the information point


    • Routes / pathways throughout the attraction suitable for wheelchair users
      • some routes
    • Routes / pathways throughout the attraction suitable for visitors with limited mobility
      • some routes

    Attraction Entrance

    • There is a ramp to the main entrance


    • Parking provided for visitors
      • Parking on site
      • With designated parking for visitors with disabilities
      • Within about 50 metres of the attraction
    • There is a drop-off point for guests immediately outside the main entrance

    This information is self-assessed; therefore we accept no liability for its accuracy. Please contact the venue for further information.

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