National Nature Reserves

Our most important places for nature

National Nature Reserves are our most important places for nature, the beating heart of England’s landscapes. From Lindisfarne in Northumberland, to the Lizard in Cornwall. From ferny woodlands and ancient heaths, to glimmering wetlands and wild coasts. National Nature Reserves are not only precious, but as colourful and diverse as the wildlife and people who call them home.

These ancient and unique places are wildlife-rich, breath-taking, and play a vital role in securing our country’s amazing wildlife and geology. They are at the centre of landscapes and communities, providing the foundation and inspiration to work towards reducing the impact of climate change and increasing the resilience of our countryside, towns and cities for people and wildlife. They are at the heart of a growing nature recovery network.

Crack willows on the Lower Derwent Valley NNR

National Nature Reserves also act as outdoor laboratories where learning, science and discovery come together. Time is running out for our wildlife and ancient landscapes. Our reserves are helping us to find the answers to tackle the threats of climate change and biodiversity loss.

From the very first six in 1952, there are now 221 National Nature Reserves in England. Almost two thirds of these are managed by Natural England, but also by over 60 different partner organisations including the National Trust, Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, local authorities and many other landowners and conservation bodies. These NNR partners all work together to ensure our most important places for nature thrive, and are protected for people to enjoy.

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Children sitting on a bench looking across Richmond Park National Nature Reserve - c Mike Downey
National Nature Reserves in England

Visit the website to find out more about the reserves, where they are, who manages them and what special features or opportunities they offer.

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Recorders of Avalon Marshes group studying plants - c Natural England
Find a National Nature Reserve near you

Visit the MAGiC website to view National Nature Reserves on an interactive map.

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National Nature Reserves Week 20th - 31st May 2024
NNR Week 2024

Join us at a local event from the 20th to 31st May 2024 as we celebrate our most important places for nature: England's National Nature Reserves

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A boy scout hammering nails to build a boardwalk - c Mike Downey Natural England
Get involved – Volunteering on NNRs

Visit the website to find out how to become a volunteer to support nature conservation where you live or work.

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Bog pimpernel at Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve - Mike Downey - Natural England
The Strategy for England’s National Nature Reserves

This Strategy sets the direction and ambition for England’s National Nature Reserves. Click below to read the Strategy.

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Visitors walking a dog on a lead at the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve - c John Beaty
The Countryside Code - Respect, Protect, Enjoy

The Countryside Code is your guide to the outdoors. Find out more by clicking the button below.

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