Nature Discovery Centre

BBOWT Nature Discovery Centre (NDC) at Thatcham. Picture: Jo Thrussell

BBOWT Nature Discovery Centre (NDC) at Thatcham. Picture: Jo Thrussell

Nature Discovery Centre

Visitor centre closure August 6 & 7

We are very sorry to say that the Nature Discovery Centre visitor centre, shop, cafe and toilets will be closed this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, due to staff availability. The rest of the site, including car park and playground, will be open as normal, and our facilities will be open as normal next week.


The Nature Discovery Centre offers a great day out for all the family

The Nature Discovery 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. Surrounded by a mosaic of different habitats, there is fantastic wildlife to see all year around.

Facilities include:

  • Lakeside café offering delicious hot and cold refreshments
  • Adventure Playgrounds
  • Gift shop with a great range of wildlife themed gifts, toys and books
  • Picnic facilities
  • Toilets, disabled toilets and baby changing
  • Signposted walk routes and seasonal Wildlife Discovery Trail
  • Thatcham Community Orchard
Reed bunting
Nature reserve

Discover fantastic wildlife

Find out more
Family walk
Getting around

Reserve and trails map

Please note: there is no longer a bird hide at Thatcham Reedbeds.

Download a map
Girl with magnifying glass
Education centre

Education Centre at the NDC

Find out more

Where to find us

We are located between Thatcham and Newbury, a short distance off the A4 at:

Nature Discovery Centre, Muddy Lane, Lower Way, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 3FU

Find us on GoogleMaps

Tel: 01635 874381



Opening times

The Nature Discovery Centre is open Tuesday - Sunday, 10am-5pm. This includes the café, shop and outside toilets.

Closed on Mondays except for school holidays when the centre is open seven days a week.

PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately, we are currently operating with staff shortages, so our standard opening hours may fluctuate. Please check our Facebook page or Google for our current opening hours. We apologise for any inconvenience.


Get the most from your visit


The centre, cafe and toilets are wheelchair accessible. The Red Trail around the lake is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Walking information

Gentle slopes, gates, benches, unsurfaced paths may become muddy in wet weather. There are trails suitable for all abilities. 

Dog walk

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. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome inside the visitor centre.

Birds at the Nature Discovery Centre

Nature Discovery Centre

Maria Arkwright

Throughout the year, one of our volunteers surveys the species of bird found on site. Below is a list showing the trend of different species and numbers of each throughout the year. 

Nature Discovery Centre bird list - 2021

Our volunteer also leads regular walks around the reserve to help visitors learn about what they can see and hear during their visit, and to learn more about each species. Visit our events page to find details of all our bird walks.

What's on at The Nature Discovery Centre

Engaging with Nature participants cooking around a fire

Volunteers wanted

We're looking for volunteers to help with our new Engaging with Nature project, delivering outdoor sessions to improve people's mental wellbeing

Find out more


Stay up-to-date with our work

Sign up below to receive the latest news from BBOWT, tips about how you can help wildlife, plus information on how you can get involved.

Sign up to our newsletter

The Nature Discovery Centre on Day Out With The Kids