The Sanctuary Bird and Wildlife Reserve (Derby City Council)

The Sanctuary Bird and Wildlife Reserve (Derby City Council)


Reserve Name     The Sanctuary Bird and Wildlife Reserve

Managing Authority     Derby City Council

Nick Moyes
Derby Museum Natural History Department
Derby City Council

Phone Number     01332 716659
Website     Visit Website
Google Map Link     See Location on Google Map

Access (Transport)

Parking & Toilet Provision

Opening Hours
7am – 7pm Monday to Saturday only

Admission Charges

Description of Habitat & Facilities

The Sanctuary is Derby’s first bird reserve and just 3km south of Derby City Centre. It’s only 10 hectares in size, so to protect ground-nesting birds there is no public access on to the site itself. Viewing opportunities are very good, however.

The Sanctuary is right next door to Pride Park Football Stadium in Derby, so it’s easy to follow road signs to get there. Four viewing and information points have recently been constructed. Two of these are raised up, and have ramped wheelchair access. It must be stressed that these viewing facilities are only reachable through the public Park and Ride car park at Pride Park in Derby. This car park is open between 7am-7pm Monday to Saturday. It’s all free; just follow the road signs to the Football Stadium and adjacent Park + Ride from all main roads in to Derby. Note that there is no Sunday access.

One viewing platform gives excellent views of an artificial sand martin nest bank where around 30 pairs of birds have nested each summer since its construction in 2004. A new lake now attracts many lapwing in winter and it is hoped that Little Ringed Plover may be attracted to the gravel habitat recently laid down in parts of the site. Another viewing platform with ramped access looks out over grassland where Skylark, Reed Bunting, Stonechat and many other birds are easily seen or heard. In 2005 a Dartford Warbler spent six weeks here –  the first county sighting in 160 years.

The Sanctuary is incredibly small, so is not suited to anyone wanting to spend half a day birdwatching. But its ease of access and closeness to a busy city centre makes it ideal for anyone wanting to get a quick birding fix whilst on a shopping trip, football match day, or visiting friends in Derby. It’s also not far from Carsington Reservoir. Recent surprise visitors at The Sanctuary have included a 5-week stay from a Dartford Warbler and a short stop-over by Curlew Sandpiper. We hope that birders will feel that a short detour to The Sanctuary is worthwhile.

Description of Trails

Trail Surfaces

Number of Hides      I viewing platform

Description of Hides [By name or number]

Target Species

Nearby Sites


Contributors Email

Date Last Updated

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