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Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows (Nene Wetlands)

A wonderful stretch of rare grazing marsh and flooded gravel pits, now a hugely valuable wetland for birds and other wildlife

This reserve has now been combined with several others to form the Nene Wetlands, part of the Nene Valley Living Landscape. To find out more, please visit the Nene Wetlands page.


Have you checked out our web app, an interactive guide to the sights and sounds of Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows. We hope it will help you explore the reserve in a whole new way. Please check it out and let us know what you think!

Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows lies at the heart of the Nene Valley, one of the most important wetlands in England and an internationally important stop-over for thousands of wildfowl and waders.

Bordering the River Nene, the site is home to wintering golden plover, wigeon and gadwall, while in spring it resounds with the songs of warblers and the cuckoo. Around the river and lakes, fragments of precious meadows survive, awash with fragrant meadowsweet and common spotted orchids.

The reserve at Irthlingborough is our newest in Northamptonshire and we are now beginning to restore the land to attract even more wildlife.

In such close proximity to several of our other nature reserves at Ditchford, Higham Ferrers and Wilson’s Pits, the restoration of Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows brings us closer to realising the Trust's dream of a Nene Valley Living Landscape.

We could not have purchased the reserve without the many generous donations from our supporters. We particularly want to thank those donations received in memory of Peter Earp, a long-time supporter of the Trust. If you wish to make a donation to the Trust in memory of a loved one please visit our memory giving page.

Dogs are welcome on site as long as they are walked responsibly. Please note that swimming is not allowed in the Lakes.


Map of Irthlingborough Lakes and Meadows

 Heritage Lottery Fund grant


The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.




Nearby nature reserves

Higham Ferrers Pits (Nene Wetlands)
1 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Nene Wetlands
1 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Wilson's Pits (Nene Wetlands)
1 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Nature reserve map

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012. For indicative purposes does not show exact boundaries.

Reserve information

5 miles from Wellingborough
Map reference
Great for...
overwintering birds
Best time to visit
Jan - Dec
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
117.00 hectares
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Protection Areas (SPA)
Living Landscape schemes
Nene Valley

Walking information
The site has two major access route. One is the public footpath/informal path along the disused railway line which connects Ebbw Vale Road in Irthlingborough to Station Road in the east. The other is a cycle way between St Peter’s Way in Irthlingborough and School Lane in Higham Ferrers. The cycle path is hard surfaced, the rest is variable underfoot. There are other public footpaths on the reserve, but these are not clearly marked at present. Some sections of path may be flooded after heavy rain.
Dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Ian Wilson, Reserve Officer
Tel: 01604 405285