Potteric Carr

Potteric Carr

(c) Matthew Roberts

The green heart of Doncaster

Potteric Carr is a wild oasis just waiting to be explored. Now nestling between motorway and railway, it's a remnant of the vast fenland that once stretched all the way across the Humber basin to the coast. Around each corner you'll discover a true mosaic of habitats, from reedbeds swaying gently under big open skies to winding woodland trails and networks of ponds teeming with life.

During summer, the meadows are full of butterflies and abuzz with insects, while winter brings the magic of thousands of starlings creating incredible aerial displays. Listen carefully and you might even hear the booming of the elusive bittern...

Start your day at the visitor centre - the perfect place to pause for a hot drink and browse the gift shop. From birdwatching to forest tots, discover amazing wildlife experiences at Potteric Carr.

Image of Potteric Carr with Good to Go logo

Potteric Carr with Good to Go logo

COVID-19 information

Potteric Carr nature reserve is open! 

Please read our latest response to COVID-19 and the changes from 19th July  

Plan your visit - we look forward to seeing you!

  • Please stay at home if you have any symptoms of COVID-19
  • You are welcome to wear a mask, especially during busy times and we ask everyone to please be considerate of others 
  • You can use the QR code for track and trace 
  • Hides are open
  • Indoor cafe is open
  • The shop is open
  • Events have restarted - scroll down for more information or visit this page
  • No dogs allowed except assistance and guide dogs (to protect the sensitive wildlife and habitats at Potteric Carr)

Opening times

This information may not be correct during lockdowns or other Covid-19 restrictions. Please see above for the latest information on opening times and prices.

Potteric Carr is open seven days a week.

Nature reserve: 9.30am - 5pm.

Takeaway cafe: 9.30am - 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


Members of The Wildlife Trusts: free

Adults: £4.50

Children: £3.00

Concessions: £3.50

Family: £11.00 (two adults & up to four under 16s)

Access to the visitor centre and café is free.

How 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. 72 or 72 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


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. People using wheelchairs, powerchairs and mobility equipment can find more information about the reserve here, thanks to Accessible Nature.
  • Toilets (including disabled access) and baby-change 

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


Assistance and guide dogs are welcome, but due to the sensitivity of habitats and wildlife at Potteric Carr, there are no dogs allowed on the reserve.

Bittern credit Jamie Hall

Your day at Potteric Carr

Potteric Carr is bursting with places to discover and wildlife to watch, whether you've got an hour or half a day!

  • Enjoy incredible birdwatching from one of our hides dotted about the reserve. Potteric Carr attracts a huge number of wetland birds and is especially exciting during spring and autumn with migrating birds passing through. Tens of thousands of starling perform incredible aerial displays over winter - a truly magical sight!
  • Follow our story trail with your family and join Spinny the spider on their quest for a new home, meeting residents of Potteric Carr along the way!
  • Walk through the mosaic of habitats, keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife, from roe deer tiptoeing through the woodlands to great crested newts basking in the ponds.
  • Book on to an event, from forest tots to pond dipping, and learn about amazing creatures!
  • Join us on a guided walk to look for wildlife and find out more about the history and management of the reserve from one of our expert guides!
male Marsh harrier © Vernon Barker

male Marsh harrier © Vernon Barker


Willow tits, roe deer, marsh harrier, common toad, avocets, orchids, newts, dragonflies - there's so much wildlife to see...

Discover our wildlife highlights and what to look out for on our sightings page.

Latest wildlife sightings
Gift box for bird watchers

Browse our gift shop

Shop both online and in our gift shop for a fabulous range of nature-inspired gifts and all important accessories including binoculars, books, bird seed and much more!

Browse now
Potteric Carr education session


Our events have returned and a number of dates are now open for bookings!

Join us on an event to discover even more of Potteric Carr. From forest tots and arts and crafts to guided walks and expert talks, there's sure to be something to take your interest.

We also run bespoke sessions for schools and community groups!

Find out more
One of the most beautiful and relaxing unspoiled and natural places in Doncaster! Beautiful lakes full of birdlife. Wonderful staff and a fabulous cafe and shop.
Facebook review


Potteric Carr visitor centre has an accessible entrance and toilet facilities. There are a number of routes around the reserve which are suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Contact us

Phone: 01302 325736