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17 September 2014
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Woodlands | Castle Eden Dene

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Castle Eden Dene Nature Reserve is known as "the jungle of the North" with to its expansive woodlands. It's the largest area of semi-natural woodland in the North East of England with an amazing diversity of micro climates and habitats. It's a top place for birds, bugs, butterflies and beautiful wild flowers.

Woodlands Index (Image: Primroses c/o George Peterken and Natural England)

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Woodlands are great places to see rare birds, plants and trees during the summer months.

Woodland actvities (Image: Butterfly c/o Natural England and Peter Wakely)

Woodland activities

  • From butterflies and bugs to mammals and moths, woods offer an unrivalled selection of nature activities.

Castle Eden Dene - Visitor Guide


Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve, Oakerside Dene Lodge, Stanhope Chase, Peterlee, Co. Durham.

Postcode SR8 1NJ
Telephone:0191 586 0004
e-mailNatural England North East -
Location map: Multimap of Castle Eden Dene area
Grid reference:Grid reference NZ432410
Key attraction:Wild walks. Ancient trees. Insects, flowers, small mammals and woodland birds.
Essential kit:Walking shoes. Binoculars and scope. Plant and tree identification guide.
Nature watching:

With nearly 500 species of flora and fauna to be found at Castle Eden Dene, there are lots of different things to see as you work your way down through the gorge including:


Bird spotting - woodland birds such as Nuthatch plus coastal birds and owls at the eastern end of the reserve which meets the North Sea.

Bug safari - many varieties of insects.

Flower spotting - woodland flowers.

Tree trail - follow the woodland walks for a great view of ancient trees including Yew.


Summer events programme organised by Natural England.

Facilities:Visitor Centre at western end - pick up information on trails and a free in-depth booklet about the wildlife.

Disabled Access: Extremely limited - most of the footpaths are on natural soil or have quite a steep gradient and as such may be difficult to navigate using a wheelchair, particularly in bad weather.

Getting there:

Castle Eden Dene is signposted from the A19 and from Peterlee town centre.

Bus: Telephone Peterlee Tourist Information on 0191 5864 450 for current bus timetables.

Bike: The reserve is near Route 1 (Peterlee Link) of the Sustrans Natonal Cycle Network. There are bike racks available at Oakerside Dene Lodge for visitors to secure their bike.


Car parking: A small car park is available at Oakerside Dene Lodge. Also limited parking at the mouth of the dene.

Opening times:

Year round.


Free entry.

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