North Walney Nature Reserve is something of a hidden beauty that goes unrecognised on what has been dubbed ‘Paradise Island’ by a North Walney councillor.

Although it is not a hidden gem to locals, for those further afield who may not know the area, the North Walney site is a wild and windy coastal site featuring some nationally rare and important habitats such as sand dunes, dune heath, hay meadows, inter-tidal mud flats and salt marsh.

North Walney is one of the best coastal nature reserves in the country, retaining a real wilderness feel in a largely industrial local landscape.

With stunning mountain and sea views, this is the place to stretch your legs and ‘get away from it all’ – and there’s always the chance you might spot some remarkable wildlife.

The reserve’s most famous resident is the noisy natterjack toad. One of the UK’s rarest amphibians, it is only found at about 40 sites in England.

These nocturnal amphibians are rarely seen, but during the spring mating season, males can often be heard calling at dusk.

The reserve is also a real haven for birdlife. From breeding wildfowl, to wintering waders, birds of prey and passing migrants, the reserve provides year-round interest to any naturalist.

Des Barlow, councillor for North Walney, praised the reserve for its natural beauty and stunning views as well as highlighting the great work that Art Gene do there for the community.

“I always think of Walney island as Paradise Island; it is a lovely place to be,” he said.

“Barrow and Walney is definitely worth a visit for any tourist.

“I live here and I like it.”

If you want to visit, North Walney Nature Reserve can be accessed on foot from Earnse Bay and is approximately 1.2km north of the car park and facilities found there.

Due to the remote nature of the site, North Walney can only be accessed by pedestrians. There is currently no access for wheelchair users, mobility scooters or pushchairs.

A path directs visitors on a circular route through the reserve, taking in some of the best habitat and landscape features. A bench provides a well-earned resting spot half way along this route and a chance to enjoy the impressive views.

To keep up to date with the latest sightings there, visit