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.
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 live feeds, streaming from across the reserve to a screen in the Visitor Centre. 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.
The Visitor Centre also houses our shop which is stocked with a huge variety of wildlife themed gifts, toys and books, as well as a selection of high quality Opticron binoculars. There is also a large range of bird food, feeders and nest boxes to help you help the wildlife in your garden.
Facilities: Visitor centre, toilets, shop, cafe/refreshments, picnic area, disabled toilet, baby changing facilities
Opening times: Visitor Centre: 10am - 5pm
From monthly guided walks and craft workshops to toddler groups and family events, we have lots going on throughout the year. For the most up to date information, why not like our Facebook page, Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre, or pop into the visitor centre and pick up a flyer? Scroll down to see a gallery of featured events.
Sculpture Trail and Discovery Area
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
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 Katie.email@example.com or call the visitor centre on 01933 779587 for more information.
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 Viktoria.firstname.lastname@example.org or pop in and see us.
Our education and community events are funded by the Heritage Lottery 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.
Nene Wetlands Little Bug's Club
Let your little ones learn about wildlife through play, stories, crafts and outdoor exploration.
Insect-themed activities at the Nene Wetlands Visitor Centre.
Bat Walk at the Nene Wetlands
Join one of our expert volunteers for a guided walk with a bat detector and learn more about these nocturnal mammals.