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Woodhorn Flashes Northumberland

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Eurasian Bittern
Christopher Bill
06 October 2018
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Site Location Details

Site location details and google satellite image for Woodhorn Flashes

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Site Details

Two mining subsidence ponds ,east of the A189, which have gradually increased in size. Both are viewable from surrounding public footpaths

Local Weather

Birding Sites in the Woodhorn Flashes Area

Additional Site Details


Lake situated on the eastern side of A189 a mile west of Newbiggin. The site is just north of the roundabout joining the A197 and past the railway bridge. Public transport to the site is by Northumbria bus X31 (Newcastle/Ashington-Newbiggin) and X33 (Newcastle/Ashington-Ellington/Cresswell), but drivers may be unwilling to set down on the busy roadside, resulting in a 500m walk south from the nearest official bus stop at Woodhorn village.


Access to the field in which the lake is situated cannot be gained; view only from roadside or public footpath from beside Woodhorn church.


It is usually possible to park off the east side of the roundabout on the A189 south of the railway bridge (NZ295883; room for 4-6 cars at the base of the blocked-off Summerhouse Lane, but sometimes space taken by lorry drivers); this has a good view of the pond to the south of the railway line, and walk 200m north under the railway bridge to view main pool. Otherwise drive past the pond towards Lynemouth and just past the end of the pond is a layby which will take 3-4 cars. Alternatively, park in Woodhorn Church car park (NZ301888) and follow the public footpath south for 400m to view the pool from 100m from the northeast. This gives by far and away the best views of the Flash.There is also a large car park at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park across the road, which unfortunately must be crossed to get to the best viewing site. THE ROAD HAS A 60MPH LIMIT SO PLEASE BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL WHEN CROSSING IT. Note parking is not possible anywhere else along the A189. A large but sometimes busy (free) car park is at the QE II Country Park beside the pub/hotel but is a fairly long walk back. However, it also gives access to the lake in the park and surrounding woodland.

Opening Times

Queen Elizabeth Country Park closes each evening, meaning that the lake essentially cannot be viewed when the park is closed.


Simply a pavement on the busy roadside where you can set up your scope! There are the expected facilities at the Country Park, which itself can hold some interesting wildlife so is worth visiting.

Key Areas / Routes

Winter is the best time to view the flash as there is little vegetation to obscure the view. Whooper and, less frequently, Bewick's Swans, as well as Teal, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, etc. may be seen at this time, as well as the occasional Jack Snipe, goose species or wintering raptors. Spring and autumn are good times for wildfowl such as Garganey, and waders such as Wood, Common and Green Sandpiper, etc. Wagtails and the odd warbler also frequent the area. Views are restricted to the water itself in the summer, due to the tall rape crop (home to several sets of Sedge Warblers).

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The BirdGuides Team.

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