Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre, Rushden Lakes

Nene Wetlands

Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre

From 2024, the Nene Wetlands visitor centre will be closed on Tuesdays.

Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre

Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre

Discover the Wildlife of the River Nene

Situated on the boardwalk at Rushden Lakes Retail Park, our Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre is the gateway to the Nene Wetlands, a huge nature reserve made up of five connected wildlife sites.

Regular events are held at the centre, which houses our activity corner and shop, while at the other end of the boardwalk, families can explore the Discovery Play Area. We also have a designated education area for schools and community groups, as well as a sculpture trail.

Wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Mobility scooter available to hire.

Opening Times & Facilities

Our very first Visitor Centre is situated on the boardwalk at Rushden Lakes Retail Park, overlooking Skewbridge Lake.

From here you can use our binoculars to look out for grey herons, great crested grebes and swans on the lake or check out our wildlife trail cam footage. There’s always something for children to do in the activity corner, whether it's colouring, learning about bird song or matching up our life cycle models.

Facilities: Visitor centre, toilets, shop, café/refreshments, picnic area, disabled toilet, baby changing facilities

Opening times: 

Monday: 10am-4.30pm

Tuesday: Closed.

Wednesday: 10am-4.30pm

Thursday: 10am-4.30pm

Friday: 10am-4.30pm

Saturday: 10am-4.30pm

Sunday: 10am-4.30pm

(Christmas day: Closed)

Wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Mobility scooter available to hire.

Sculpture Trail and Discovery Area

National Lottery Heritage Fund Logo

Our mile long nature loop starts near to the visitor centre and has a hard surface,  making it ideal for pushchairs and wheelchairs. There are seating areas and viewpoints to look out from, as well as fourteen wooden animal sculptures. Why not pick up an activity sticker pack from the centre and see if you can find them all?

Little ones will also enjoy exploring our Wildlife Discovery Area. Clamber over the sunken barge, climb into a heron’s nest, slide down slopes with our playful otters and even ride a spider!

Schools and Community Groups

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Engaging with and inspiring the next generation is a big part of our work in the Nene Wetlands and we have a designated education area to allow us to cater for larger groups.

From tailored guided walks and bird watching to pond dipping and bug hunting, there are lots of options to choose from. We are also able to offer some outreach opportunities including school assemblies and talks.

If you are interested in bringing a group to the Nene Wetlands, or if you would like us to come to you, please contact our Education and Community Officer at or call the visitor centre on 01933 779587 for more information.


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We rely on the help of volunteers to run our visitor centre and our activities. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact our Supporter Engagement and Retail Officer at or pop in and see us.

Contact Us

Wildlife Trust Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre, Rushden Lakes, Rushden, Northamptonshire, NN10 6FH

Facebook   Tel: 01933 779587    Email 

Events at the Nene Wetlands

Robin and blue tit in winter

Robin (Erithacus rubecula) and blue tit (Parus caeruleus) adult perched in winter - Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Shop for wildlife

We have some great gifts for nature enthusiasts in stock at the Nene Wetlands visitor centre, including a range of fabulous nest box and wildlife cameras to help you watch wildlife at home, den kits for kids and gift sets for the rest of the family. There are also some great bargains to be had in our clearance sale. 

You can also shop from home at our new-look online shop, run by the Nene Wetlands team.

Every sale helps us to look after local wildlife and wild places.

Shop online

Volunteer at the Nene Wetlands

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Our education and community events are funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of the 'Into the Valley' initiative to connect shoppers and visitors to Rushden Lakes with the amazing wildlife and wild places of the Nene Wetlands.

Into the Valley report cover

Into the Valley report cover

Evaluation Report

Into the Valley

A report on our Into the Valley project in Northamptonshire's Nene Valley, made possible by generous funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, reflects the positive impacts of all that has been achieved - landscape restoration, monitoring wildlife and creating wild experiences for visitors

Read the full report