Nature Discovery Centre

Nature Discovery Centre

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

Please note: the visitor centre building is closed, but we are now open for takeaway food and drink. Please look at the information here before planning your visit.

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. 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
Nature reserve

Discover fantastic wildlife

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Getting around

Reserve and trails map

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

Download a map
Education centre

Education Centre at the NDC

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Where to find us

Please note: the A4 junction with Lower Way, the main way into NDC from Newbury,  is shut from 4 -9 March. More info here.

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 café will be reopening for takeaway food and drink from Wed 8 July. Things will look slightly different to normal - please read the guidance below before planning your visit.

  • We are open Monday to Sunday from 10am – 5pm.
  • The building will remain closed and we will serve food and drinks using an ordering and pick up system from our doors on the patio area.
  • The outside toilets will be open during business hours. This includes the accessible toilet and baby changing facilities.

You can really help us by complying with the following:

  • Remember to observe social distancing when queuing and using the picnic seating.
  • Use a card to pay whenever possible – there is no limit on credit card transactions.
  • Take time to use the correct recycling bins. We will be using more takeaway containers and so this is even more important now.

Our menu will look a little different for now – see Facebook for more details.

Car parking and admission to the centre are free. We welcome donations. Charges apply for special events (please see our events page for more information)

Car Park opening times

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

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. Dogs, except assistance dogs, are not permitted 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

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


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The Nature Discovery Centre on Day Out With The Kids