Leighton Moss Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance
Leighton Moss, United Kingdom
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Leighton Moss RSPB reserve is a nature reserve in Lancashire, England, which has been in the care of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds since 1964. It is situated at Silverdale near Carnforth, on the edge of Morecambe Bay and in the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Leighton Moss contains the largest area of reedbeds in north-west England, which are managed to prevent them drying out and to prevent saline intrusion from the coast. It provides habitats for many species of wildlife, including bitterns and red deer. As a wetland of international importance, it was designated a Ramsar site in 1985. It is an Important Bird Area.
The RSPB reserve also protects an area of Morecambe Bay, where a saltmarsh provides a habitat for birds such as avocets.
The reserve is entered through the visitor centre (a converted farmhouse) containing a shop and a tea-room. The centre also contains an education room.
There are seven observation hides, which were renewed in 2012 with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. One is named after comedian Eric Morecambe. There are also nature trails.
In 2013 Leighton Moss hosted the BBC's Autumnwatch programme.
The reserve and visitor centre are open daily all year round (except Christmas Day) from 9 am to dusk and the visitor centre from 9.30 am – 5 pm (4.30 pm November–January inclusive). Entrance is free for RSPB members and those who come by public transport. Silverdale railway station is just a few minutes' walk away.
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