Observation Hide at Aqualate Mere

If you are interested in watching or photographing wildlife I have discovered that there is an observation hide at Aqualate Mere. The area is a Nature Reserve and the hide was opened to the public in May 2006. To get to the hide, go down the A518 towards Stafford from the A41 Newport Bypass. After going over a narrow hump-backed bridge at the Outwoods, watch out for a crossroads 0.6 miles after the bridge. Take a left turn at the crossroads signposted to Sutton. You will be on a single-track tarmaced road. After half a mile there is a car park on the left hand side which takes about 10 cars. It is clearly marked as the car park for Aqualate Nature Reserve. From the car park there is a well-defined pathway to the hide. The walk takes about 10 minutes. I advise you to wear boots or Wellingtons, as the path can be muddy in places.

In the first field that the path goes through there are likely to be cows grazing. Dogs are not permitted in the area of the hide. The hide is a comfortable large wooden hut with benches, notice boards, bird identification charts etc. In the hour I spent there on Monday 25 September there was a huge variety of wildfowl and other birds including a kingfisher and a woodpecker. There is a diary for noting what was seen and an otter was sighted in front of the hide on the previous Saturday. If you fancy a nice quiet couple of hours relaxing while you watch the wildlife I can thoroughly recommend it!

The hide faces west, so it should be a good spot to get sunset pictures over the Mere.