RSPB Saltholme

About SaltholmeLeisure activities

Saltholme’s main trails are accessible and, with a cafe with a stunning view, Saltholme is an ideal location to meet friends and catch up on news. Newly refurbished wildlife hides, one of which has automatic doors, make it even more pleasant to enjoy what Saltholme has to offer. There are views of Middlesbrough’s iconic transporter bridge, Amish Kapoor’s “Temenos” sculpture as well as an excellent view of Roseberry Topping.


Reed beds are one of our really important habitats. As well as benefiting birds such as water rails, reed buntings and reed warblers, many insects are also reliant on reedbeds as habitat. A mixture of other habitats can be found here including open pools, scrapes, wet grassland and a meadow.


We’re looking after wet grassland areas of the reserve both as part of the larger Tees and Hartlepool Foreshore and Wetlands Site of Special Scientific Interest, and for the Teesmouth and Cleveland Special Protection Area. This is for the benefit of the nationally important numbers of wintering wildfowl and waders including golden plover, lapwing and wigeon, which graze the grass or peck at creepy-crawlies here. We have sheep and cattle which help us manage the grassland making sure it’s all good for the species which rely on us.

Saltholme is home to one of the UK’s largest inland breeding colony of common tern, which arrive each spring to nest on the cockleshell-covered islands in our open pools. The islands provide the ideal nesting site for these birds, as they are away from predatory mammals and accidental trampling.

We control water levels in the shallow open water pools and ‘scrapes’ to create muddy edges and bare areas for the large numbers of wading birds which stop off at the site during migration.

Teesside Environmental Trust (TET) was established in April 1998 with the aim of providing a nature reserve of international importance at Saltholme. TET agreed to partner with the RSPB in early 2000 and in August 2007 the whole of the 1000-acre site was leased to the RSPB.

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