A visual melting pot of swirling blues and greys, the mudflats and saltmarsh of Caerlaverock provide a winter feast for birds like barnacle geese, bar tailed godwit and knot. Standing on the edge of this vast flat expanse, you can watch flocks of birds wheeling through the sky as they travel from mudflat to coastal salt marsh. Or arrive at dusk in early summer to listen to the eerie chorus of natterjack toads.
The land where the River Nith meets the Solway Firth has always been a wild place – the name ‘Caerlaverock’ meaning ‘land of the lark’. The magnificent Caerlaverock Castle was built here in the late 13th Century, as a residence as well as a stronghold. The castle suffered badly in Anglo-Scottish warfare, but the woodland swamps and vast tidal sandbanks beyond remained untouched. They were a stronghold of another kind – for wildfowl and wading birds. These lands today form Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve (NNR)
You can visit Caerlaverock all year round, where there is a path network with raised boardwalks, a viewing platform, picnic areas, cycle racks and a viewing hide. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre is also located adjacent to the National Nature Reserve.