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Birdbrook Nature Reserve

A secluded reserve nestled among the bustle of the city is one of London’s most important strongholds for newts.

This surprisingly tranquil and biodiverse oasis sits between the A2 Rochester Way Relief Road and a residential street in Kidbrooke.

It comprises grassland, scrub and six ponds, plus an array of amphibian life, all situated on a former brownfield site.

Rocky banks of broken concrete that are remnants of the reserve’s industrial past provide ideal basking habitat for lizards. Birdbrook also boasts a diverse range of plant and insect species.

Birdbrook Nature Reserve is gated and usually closed. There is access on special event days, or by arrangement with the site manager.


Species you can see at Birdbrook Nature Reserve

Amphibians: Great crested newt, palmate newtsmooth newt, slow-worm.

Invertebrates: Long-winged coneheadRoesel’s bush cricket.

Plants: Yellow iris, biting stonecrop, crown vetch, cinquefoil.


History of Birdbrook Nature Reserve

The site was originally a Ministry of Defence property with workshops for repairing military vehicles and field gun carriages. Its wildlife value as a brownfield site increased and then-site owners British Telecom granted a management licence to the Trust in 1982. A new road scheme was proposed in the mid-1990s and the site was acquired by the Department for Transport to make it happen, but volunteers from the Greenwich group of the Trust met with the government and ensured the open water lost to the scheme was recreated elsewhere. The Rochester Way Relief Road was built, but Birdbrook survived and continues to provide a valuable wildlife habitat.


Facilities at Birdbrook Nature Reserve

There are no facilities in the reserve. The nearest public toilets are at Kidbrooke Rail Station.


How to get to Birdbrook Nature Reserve

The entrance is in Birdbrook Road, just north of the A2 road bridge. Kidbrooke Rail Station is 10 minutes' walk away, where a footbridge from Park Terrace leads to the footpath that runs alongside the reserve.


Opening times for Birdbrook Nature Reserve

The site is gated and usually closed. There is access on special event days, or by arrangement with the site manager.


Birdbrook Nature Reserve



Accessibility at Birdbrook Nature Reserve

There are uneven footpaths with a slight incline at the entrance. Double gates can be opened to ease access. Parking is available in Birdbrook Road. 


Status of Birdbrook Nature Reserve

Designated as a Site of Metropolitan Importance.


Get involved at Birdbrook Nature Reserve 

Species and habitats

Great Crested Newt, Slow-worm, Biting Stonecrop, Yellow Iris

Nearby nature reserves

New Cross Gate Cutting
3 miles - London Wildlife Trust
Bellenden Road Nature Garden
5 miles - London Wildlife Trust
Centre for Wildlife Gardening
5 miles - London Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

114 Birdbrook Road
Greater London
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Great for...
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
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1.00 hectares
Street parking in surrounding streets.
Guide dogs only
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tom Hayward
Tel: 020 7261 0447