Enter a world where magical yew, oak, ash and dying elm create a home for other plants and creatures. 10,000 years of wild growth in a deep gorge has created a place you can explore again and again.
Main habitat: woodland
Why visit: This mysterious tangled landscape of trees, rocky outcrops and steep cliffs is a sensational survivor of ‘the wildwood’ that once covered much of Britain.
Star species: Castle Eden Dene is home to an extraordinary variety of birds, more than 450 species of plants, and some of our favourite mammals, including roe deer and fox.
Access: Although the Dene itself it is not suitable for wheelchairs, Natural England has opened a new, short, easy access path that starts at the lodge car park. All paths can be muddy and slippery after bad weather.
Other nearby attractions: the reserve is close to the Durham Heritage Coast, which has several superb wildlife areas to visit, while Natural England’s own Thrislington National Nature Reserve is also close by.
A series of byelaws are in force to protect the wildlife of the Dene, and ensure that as many people as possible can enjoy its beauty.
Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve
East Durham Land Management Team
Oakerside Dene Lodge
2 Stanhope Chase
Peterlee SR8 1NJ
Other NNRs in the area