sanctuary is situated about two km north of Wadebridge. It
includes over 20 hectares of reclaimed flood plain between
the farm of Lower Amble and the River Amble, and lies less
than one km inland from the Camel Estuary. Its highest point
is about four metres above the Ordnance Datum.
The reserve has developed from three fields of pasture on
land reclaimed from salt marsh and now protected from
flooding by a dam at the mouth of the River Amble. The
vegetation is predominantly Juncus effusus. The
reserve also includes hedges, ditches, a shallow pond left
over when the river was straightened and one bank of the
River Amble. The Environment Agency constructed
excellent new areas of water and essential new embankments
outside the new hide, whilst carrying out their Amble
Marshes Management Scheme in 1998.
Naturalist and broadcaster Bill Oddie officially opened the
fabulous tower hide in December 1999. With the hide being 4m
high, excellent views are possible over most of the reserve
and the surrounding countryside, in comparatively luxurious
Species to be seen include, in
winter, Teal, large flocks of Wigeon, Lapwing
and Golden Plover. Also Shoveler, Snipe, Greenshank, Green
Sandpiper, Ruff, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, White-fronted Gees
(low numbers), Little Egret and Barn Owl. In summer, breeding
birds include Mute Swan, Mallard, Shelduck, Reed Bunting, Sedge
Warbler and Reed Warbler
Passage migrants include waders, egrets, herons,
wildfowl and raptors. Almost anything can turn up!
Rarities include Black Stork, Black Duck, American
Bittern, Temmink's Stint, Marsh Harrier and Citrine
The sanctuary is nationally important
for wintering waders and wildfowl. During high tides,
many estuary birds use the reserve as a refuge.
Above photographs, all
taken at Walmsley Sanctuary,
courtesy of Adrian Langdon.
is a members only reserve and there is no access for the general
public. However for non members seeking access keys are available for hire at
a cost of £5 per day. Please e-mail the warden firstname.lastname@example.org
(phone 07702 527603) or chairman email@example.com
(phone 01208 816779) Keys may be obtained
by members from the Membership
Leave Wadebridge on the B3314 Rock to Port Isaac road. Proceed to the
traffic light controlled bridge over the River Trewornan. Use the narrow
public footpath gate on the right hand side (Rock side of bridge) and follow
the footpath across the fields towards the hide. After the first stile keep
close to the hedge on your left. Do not cut across the
field. Please use the stiles and do
not climb the hedges.
To avoid disturbance to this statutory bird sanctuary, the hides are the
only area open to visitors.
For a few days in the first week of January 2009 and again in 2010 and 2011 Walmsley Sanctuary was almost
completely frozen, apart from a small pool in the centre. The birds clustered
around the pool are largely Teal but among them were some Shoveller,
Pintail, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard and Mute Swan. There was also a hen
harrier present (pictures in Gallery 2009) and some excitement was caused by a party of Teal
flying in at a rate of knots with a peregrine close behind. But not close
For an interactive view from the tower hide click on the picture above. Use
your mouse to pan and tilt around the picture. Shift and Ctrl to zoom in and
may need Apple Quicktime, which is a free download. (www.apple.com/quicktime/download/
Interactive picture: Nigel Climpson
Views from the sky of Walmsley Sanctuary
Aerial footage of the Walmsley
Sanctuary was commissioned by the Environment Agency to view their recent
Water Level Management works.
This was carried out from a radio
controlled aeroplane flown by Oliver Bampton and we are grateful to him for
permission to use his videos.
The Warden reports that this caused no
disturbance to the birds.