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Harrington Nature Reserve

Harrington Nature Reserve consists of many high quality habitats, some of them very rare and found in few other places throughout West Cumbria. There is so much more to see than the reservoir alone, known locally as 'The Rezzer'.

The two meadows retain a diverse range of herbs, flowers and grasses. This diversity is important for many invertebrates which feed, shelter or over-winter on particular types of plant or grass. The Large Skipper butterfly for example will often be seen in rough 'unimproved' grassland during the summer. Importantly, these rough grasslands have never been 'improved' like many uniform types of grassland which have little wildlife interest.

Running water is an important feature because it affects almost every other habitat within the reserve. The Ellerbeck transports nutrients and sediments throughout the reserve a little like food and oxygen is transported by blood around our bodies. Water is also important for bank side trees, mostly Alder, Willows and Sycamore, not to mention marginal vegetation like that found around 'The Rezzer' and on more sunny ports of the beck. The Ellerbeck is also home to many forms of wildlife including Mallards, Grey Wagtail, Moorhen, Sticklebacks, the larvae of dragonflies, as well as Common Toads and the occasional Kingfisher.


Access is free all year round. 

The main entrance to the reserve is opposite a primary school on Moorclose Road, Harrington, Workington. 

There is parking available in a nearby layby or directly outside the reserve.  Please be considerate to local residents when parking. 


There is a lovely walk that takes around 15-30 minutes and is all on an even path so is wheel friendly.

Download a walking guide here.


The Friends of Harrington Nature Reserve

The friends group is instrumental in keeping Harrington Nature Reserve the beautiful place it is and to enhance the area for the enjoyment of the wider community. 


The ‘friends’ group is made up of local residents who work together to:

  • Ensure the area is better used by the local community

  • Develop strategies for improved maintenance, alongside the Nature Officers 

  • Identify resources for specific improvements

  • Apply for funding for various projects and activities

  • Help to make the reserve safer

  • Organise fun days, events, and activities 

  • Carry out practical tasks to improve/maintain the reserve

If you would be interesting in joining the group; contact details can be found on our 'get involved' page. Everyone is welcome. 

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