Welcome to Potteric Carr Visitor Centre, Doncaster

Welcome to Potteric Carr Visitor Centre, Doncaster

(c) Tom Marshall

We are pleased to welcome you to Potteric Carr nature reserve. The reserve will remain open for Wildlife Trust members and residents of Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council.

As we enter national lockdown, we have put a variety of measures in place to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit, including:

  • if you are not a member, asking you to reserve a time slot for your visit
  • giving a warm welcome from a distance
  • providing hand sanitiser and hand washing facilities
  • accepting contactless payments only
  • displaying social distancing markers
  • asking you to wear a face covering when inside the Centre - the requirement to wear face coverings has been extended to include staff and customers in retail and indoor hospitality, except when seated at a table to eat or drink
  • asking you to limit your party size to six indoors and outdoors.

The following will be open:

  • car park
  • takeaway café (7 days a week, 9:30am - 4pm). We will be offering a smaller yet still tasty menu!
  • toilets (7 days a week, 9:30am - 5pm)
  • pathways on the nature reserve (please keep to the left on all paths) and 11 of our 13 hides (7 days a week, 9:30am - 5pm)

Currently closed/unavailable:

  • 2 bird hides (Loversall Pool and Beeston)
  • visitor centre wifi is currently down
  • a short section of the paths are closed, including those leading to the Mud Kitchen and Black Carr Wood
  • we are cancelling all our events until 2nd December.

We're Good to Go

We're good to go! 


Potteric Carr has been successfully awarded Visit England's 'We're Good to Go' mark, confirming that our Risk Assessments and processes to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing, meet government and industry COVID-19 guidelines. 

Fully accessible nature paths will wind you around a stunning, safe wetland habitat highlighted with pockets of woodland and wildflower meadows.

Many hides allow you to get up close and personal with birds such as woodpeckers and kingfishers and during your wander you may also encounter mammals such as roe deer and water voles.

The ponds provide a home for newts, frogs and whirligig beetles with staff on hand to show you the best spots for pond dipping.

The meadows during summer are full of butterflies and abuzz with insects on warm afternoons. During the winter you may be lucky enough to spot our overwintering bitterns in the reedbeds – this globally threatened species is a real highlight for any wildlife watcher.

Please note we do not allow dogs or bikes onto the reserve as they may disturb or harm our wonderful wildlife.

If you are interested in reading about wildlife sightings at Potteric Carr, visit the daily sighting blog here. For monthly bird lists, see here.

For more information on the Potteric Carr Nature Reserve itself, please click here.

Plan your visit

Public opening times

  • Nature reserve: 9am - 5pm.
  • Cafe: 9am - 4pm (hot food service ends at 3pm)
  • Car park: Locked at 5pm - if you would like to stay later, then please arrive before 5pm and ask at the centre's reception desk
  • Open seven days a week*

Potteric Carr nature reserve and visitor centre will be closed on the 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th December. We'll open as usual on Saturday 28th December.


Access to the visitor centre and café is free. Entry onto the reserve incurs a fee.

  • Members of The Wildlife Trusts : Free - click here to find out more
  • Adults: £4.50
  • Children: £3.00
  • Concessions: £3.50
  • Family: £11.00 (two adults & up to four under 16s)

Where to find us

Potteric Carr Nature Reserve Visitor Centre, Mallard Way, Doncaster, DN4 8DB

01302 325736 Email potteric.carr@ywt.org.uk

How to get to Potteric Carr

By car

  • From Doncaster take the White Rose Way (A6182), at the roundabout follow the directions for the M18. Potteric Carr Nature Reserve is signposted.
  • From the A1 (southbound) come off at Junction 35 for the M18, then take Junction 3 towards Doncaster and follow signs for the A6182 (White Rose Way). At the first set of lights you reach, turn right into Mallard Way. Park at the visitor centre car park.

By public transport

  • The nearest train station is Doncaster
  • From here you can catch the No. 70 Park and Ride bus. Journey time approx. 10 - 15 minutes. Disembark at B&Q on White Rose Way, cross White Rose Way on foot via the pedestrian crossing points and follow the signs to Potteric Carr. Approx. 5 minute walk.
Potteric Carr area map

Car parking

Free parking. Gates are locked at 5pm - if you would like to stay later, then please arrive before 5pm and ask at the visitor centre welcome desk.


  • Café serving hot and cold drinks, breakfast, lunch and light bites*
  • Shop for a fabulous range of nature-inspired gifts and all important accessories including binoculars, books, bird seed and much more! Browse online first.
  • Access to the café, shop and nature reserve is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
  • Toilets (including disabled access) and baby-change 

*100% of profits from sales of refreshments and merchandise go back into wildlife conservation

Potteric Carr cafe

Credit Tom Marshall

What to enjoy

Getting close to nature
Potteric Carr is fabulous for birdwatching with marsh and water birds being particularly numerous. Spring and autumn are exciting times as a wide range of migrant birds can arrive at any time and the reserve is a hot spot for witnessing amazing starling murmurations. The marshes support a wide range of plants providing a spectacle of colour throughout the summer and great crested and palmate newts are present in some of the pools.

Mammal sightings include water shrew, water vole, harvest mouse and roe deer. The nature reserve is excellent for insects and other invertebrates too, with impressive lists of moths, spiders, beetles, bugs and hoverflies.

Visit the Potteric Carr Nature Reserve page to discover more.

Take a look at the latest sightings here.

Events and activities for all ages
You can also enjoy a wonderful variety of events throughout the year, from Forest Tots (monthly forest play for pre schoolers), monthly sessions for home-educated families, to talks and craft activities suitable for ages.

Take a look at our events pages and narrow your search using the keyword "Potteric".

We also offer an informative learning programme for local schools and community groups. Please take a look at our school sessions and activities section to find out more.


Hiring Potteric Carr Visitor Centre

We offer a number of options to suit your needs.

Find out more

Volunteering at Potteric Carr

(c) Simon Collins, York Filming and Editing


Make a full day of your adventure and take the opportunity to explore and enjoy other wild places close by.