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Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis ©Chris Thomas

Newport (Welsh: Casnewydd) is a cathedral and university city and unitary authority area in south east Wales. It is located on the River Usk close to its confluence with the Severn estuary, approximately 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Cardiff. At the 2011 census it is the third largest city in Wales, with an urban population of 306,844. The city forms part of the Cardiff-Newport metropolitan area with a population of 1,097,000.

The city is largely low-lying, but with a few hilly areas. (Wentwood reaches 310 metres above sea level). Areas in the south and east of the city tend to be flat and fertile with some housing estates and industrial areas reclaimed from marshland. Areas near the banks of the River Usk, such as Caerleon, are also low-lying. The eastern outskirts of the city are characterised by the gently rolling hills of the Vale of Usk and Christchurch has panoramic views of the Vale of Usk and the Bristol Channel.

There are four nature reserves: Newport Wetlands, Allt-yr-yn, Solutia (linked by a footpath to Newport Wetlands) and Coed Wen (part of the Penhow woodlands NNR). The name Allt-yr-yn means ‘hillside of ash trees’ and you will also see birch, cherry, oak, alder and non-native trees such as horse chestnut and scamore. The site includes a five acre meadow, three ponds, a canal and woodland areas, intersected by a number of footpaths and bridleways.

Top Sites

Llandegfedd Reservoir


Satellite View

Llandegfedd Reservoir is more important for wintering wildfowl. There is sailing on part of the lake in the summer. Again, many good spots are too small, and too numerous to list.

Usk Estuary

Satellite View

Peterstone Wentlooge (ST270200); Uskmouth and Goldcliff (ST320820); Collister Pill (ST450850); Black Rock (ST510880) are known for passage waders, some sea-watching, etc. There are small numbers of breeding Redshank, lapwing and curlew on the Levels. Magor Marsh reserve, run by GWT (ST4286). Reedwarblers, etc, breeding Little Grebe. There is to be a new wetland site at Uskmouth to replace the Cardiff Bay. It is not yet clear exactly what habitats will be provided.

Wentwood Forest

Satellite View

Wentwood Forest, at the right times of the year, has crossbill, nightjar, woodcock, redpoll, siskin. Goshawk can be seen in various locations, as can hobby.

County Recorder

Philip Bristow - East Glamorgan County Recorder

2 Forest Oak Close, Cyncoed, Cardiff CF23 6QN

07769 973 890


Useful Reading

Birds of Glamorgan

Clive Hurford and Peter Lansdown 228 pages, 30 col & 17 b/w photos, line illus, maps. 1995

ISBN: 1872808344

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Gwent

by Andrew Baker Helm 2007

ISBN: 0713676337

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Gwent Bird Report

…available from Jerry Lewis, Y Bwthyn Gwyn, Coldbrooke, Abergavenny NP7 9TD

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.


Gwent Ornithological Society


TJ Russell, The Pines, Highfield Road, Monmouth, Gwent NP5 3HP 01600 716266 - Home Page for the Gwent Ornithological Society (GOS) now up and running with news, the latest newsletter, meetings dates, links and more…

Gwent Wildlife Trust


Gwent covers the lower Wye and Usk river valleys and the Severn Estuary in South East Wales. In the last fifty years Gwent has lost two thirds of its ancient woodland and the lowlands surrounding the Severn Estuary are threatened by industrial development…


Magor Marsh


Satellite View

This reserve is last remnant of fenland on the Gwent levels and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is a prime example of the succession of plant communities from open water to marsh and scrub woodland. Bronze age pottery fragments have been found and the present layout of reens (drainage ditches) dates from the 14th century.

Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve RSPB


Satellite View

This new wildlife reserve (opened in March 2000), on part of the tranquil Gwent Levels on the edge of the City of Newport, was created as mitigation for the loss of mudflats of Cardiff Bay. The new reedbeds, saline lagoons and wet grasslands have already attracted a wealth of wetland birds including over-wintering wigeon, shoveler, teal, shelduck and pintail. Bitterns may be seen at the Uskmouth Reedbeds in winter along with hen harriers and short-eared owls…

Wentwood Forest


Satellite View

Wentwood Forest near Newport was acquired by the Woodland Trust in 2005. The largest surviving ancient wood in Wales, and the last remnant of the Forest of Gwent, it has a long and venerable history with records going back to the eighth century…

Photographers & Artists

Photographer - Chris Thomas - British Bird Photography


British bird photographs, British bird pictures…