Opening times

Car Park

Open from 8am every day; subject to seasonal locking times (please check the boards on your arrival).

Centre (including shop and café) 

Summer (April-October)

Open 7 days a week, including bank holidays. 10:30am-5pm

Winter (November-March)

Tuesday-Sunday 10:30am-4pm. Closed Mondays





How to get here

The Centre is off Lower Way in Thatcham, easily accessible from the A4 and close to Newbury. The full address of the centre is

The Nature Discovery Centre
Muddy Lane
Lower Way
RG19 3FU

Get the most from your visit


Car parking and admission to the centre are free. We welcome donations.

Charges apply for special events (please see What's On for more information)



  • Lakeside Café offering delicious hot and cold food and drinks. See a sample menu here
  • Gift shop with a great range of wildlife themed gifts, toys and books
  • Toilets, disabled toilet and baby changing
  • Picnic facilities
  • Adventure Playgrounds
  • Bird hide overlooking Thatcham Reedbeds Nature Reserve - please pick up a key from reception
  • Signposted walk routes and seasonal trails
  • Thatcham Community Orchard- find out more on the Facebook page

Bringing your dog

Dogs are welcome on the reserve, but please keep them out of the lake. We ask that you keep dogs under close control at all times. Dogs, except assistance dogs, are not permitted inside the visitor centre.

Silent Space at the Nature Discovery Centre

8am-10am every Saturday and Sunday.
The Silent Space is a secluded meadow area that offers a wonderful spot for quiet contemplation – an opportunity to relax and enjoy this peaceful area within the busy reserve. Find out more here.

Contact Us

Telephone: 01635 874381

Welcome to the Nature Discovery Centre at Thatcham

Managed on behalf of

The Nature Discovery Centre offers a great day out for all the family. The Centre is packed full of interactive wildlife and natural history displays. There is a network of footpaths ranging from small family-friendly walks to longer paths for the more adventurous.

Click here to download a map of the reserve


Please note: There is currently a blue-green algal bloom in the lake at the Nature Discovery Centre. It is a natural process but it can be harmful to children and dogs. We therefore ask our visitors to please ensure you keep your dogs and children away from the lake. We are also not selling duck food at the moment to help promote the quality of the water. This is likely to last until the end of the summer. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause to your visit.


We have recently submitted a planning application to West Berkshire Council with designs for an improved waterfront at the Nature Discovery Centre. To find out more, click here

Event by Rob Appleby

The Nature Discovery Centre offers a wide ranging and varied programme of events throughout the year. With hands on wildlife activities, craft workshops, walks and talks there’s something to suit every member of the family.

See what's on at the NDC


Cake by Kanko

Are you looking for a venue for a family celebration, children's party, business meeting or team building day? The Nature Discovery Centre is the ideal venue in a peaceful lakeside setting, with easy parking and good transport links.

Find out more about our facilities


Wildlife Clubs

There are activities for children and young people of all ages through our wildlife clubs. So if you are aged between 0 and 16, love wildlife, practical conservation and nature activities there’s something for you at the Nature Discovery Centre. 

Find out more about our Wildlife Clubs


Education at the Nature Discovery Centre

The Nature Discovery Centre is a great setting for outdoor education, with specifically designed areas perfect for getting closer to nature. Book a visit for your school group today.

Education at the Nature Discovery Centre.

Wildlife at the Nature Discovery Centre

The lake in front of the Nature Discovery Centre provides the perfect setting to view a wide variety of wildlife. The internationally important Thatcham Reedbeds is a short walk from the lake.

Find out more about the wildlife you can see.

Join us on Facebook

Looking for an exciting wildlife experience for your group? Book a session with our ranger team for a guided tour of the reserve Please add a link to the bring your group page

Find out more about bringing your group.





Volunteer with us

Snakeshead Fritillaries Survey by BBOWT

Do your bit to help local wildlife.

Find out about volunteering opportunities here.

Employee Work Parties

Get out of the office...

 ...and enjoy a team building day on a local nature reserve!