On the map the fingers of Newtown Harbour National Nature Reserve creep in from the open sea, clutching at the historic old town of Newtown. Once a bustling medieval port, shipping channels slowly silted up and the old saltworks was abandoned, beginning to crumble.
But nature abhors a vacuum, and wildlife has reclaimed the land. Traditional management of the hay meadows and woodland has created a haven for all kinds of creatures and rare plants. The nature reserve is particularly impressive in winter, when thousands of migratory waders and wildfowl take up residence on the mudflats, saltmarsh, and graze on the hay meadows.
Volunteers open the bird hide to the public between April and October, and guided bird walks take place through the winter.