Coach Outings 2023

Programme of Coach Outings – Mike Byrne
The cost of coach trips is £20 each, irrespective of distance. Please note for some reserves, there may be an additional small entrance fee. Coach trips should be booked at least five weeks in advance by contacting Mike Byrne on 01933 626251 or by emailing Mike at michaelb7@hotmail.co.uk.

Upcoming Coach Trips


19th November 2023 Welney, PE14 9TN
Leaves Raunds Square at 8:00am and Thrapston Market Place at 8:10am.
WWT Welney takes in the northernmost part of the Ouse Washes, Britain’s largest area of seasonally-flooded land, and a place protected for the importance and interest of its biodiversity. https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/welney/ The reserve covers 420 hectares. In winter, it welcomes more than 6,000 whooper and Bewick’s swans, many of which come close to the Welney observatory at feeding times, creating a wildlife spectacle that’s hard to beat.
Many other bird species can be seen from the reserve’s hides, paths and board walks, including significant numbers of pintail, shoveler, pochard, wigeon, gadwall, teal, avocet, redshank, snipe, black-tailed godwit, golden plover and marsh harrier. The award-winning visitor centre, renowned for its eco-friendly features, offers stunning panoramic views across 200 acres of recently created wetland habitat set against the backdrop of the Fens.
Facilities: visitor centre, toilets, café and shop.
Admission: adult permit price in addition to normal coach fare for non-members of WWT

Previous Coach Trips

29th January 2023 Abberton Reservoir, CO2 0EU
Leaves Raunds Square at 8:00am and Thrapston Market Place at 8:10am.
The Essex Wildlife Trust (EWT) reserve at Abberton reservoir is one of Europe’s top wetland sites for wintering wildfowl. https://www.essexwt.org.uk/nature-reserves/abberton It is of international importance as a safe haven for wild ducks, swans and other water birds whether passing through on migration or over-wintering. It lies close to east-coast migration routes and is a welcome sight to tired birds. Up to 40,000 ducks, geese and swans visit this reservoir each year with wigeon, teal, mallard, pochard and tufted ducks being there in very large numbers. In winter the surrounding farmland holds large numbers of golden plover. In dry winters, water levels fall temporarily to expose large expanses of mud. This attracts large numbers of passage waders such as ruff and spotted redshank from the coast. For the keen birdwatcher the reservoir boasts an impressive list of rarities visiting briefly in winter. There are two hides overlooking the reservoir and one in the woodland.
Facilities: visitor centre, toilets, café and shop.
Admission: £2.00 donation to EWT in addition to normal coach fare.


23rd April 2023 Minsmere, IP17 3BY
Leaves Raunds Square at 7:00am and Thrapston Market Place at 7:10am.
On the beautiful Suffolk coast, Minsmere offers a day out for families, and beginner and experienced birdwatchers alike, with plenty to enjoy at any time of year. Nature trails take you through woodland, heathland and reedbeds, to excellent hides and to the beach. https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/minsmere/
In spring, avocets return to breed on the Scrape, with about 100 pairs nesting annually. Common terns start to return from mid-April, when migrant wading birds will be passing through. Minsmere is the best place in Britain to hear booming bitterns. Marsh harriers can be seen displaying over the reedbeds and nightingales can be heard singing in the scrub from mid-April. Various other warblers can also be heard singing around the reserve and great spotted woodpeckers can be heard drumming. On the heath, look for Dartford warblers. Sand martins will have returned to nest in their colony by the tearoom.
Facilities: visitor centre, information centre, toilets, shop and tearoom serving hot and cold drinks, snacks and light meals.


21st May 2023 Goyt Valley, SK11 0AR
Leaves Raunds Square at 7:00am and Thrapston Market Place at 7:10am.
The Goyt Valley is located between Macclesfield and Buxton in the Peak District National Park. https://www.goyt-valley.org.uk/ The River Goyt, which flows through the grit-stone valley, rises high on Axe Edge Moor, near the Cat and Fiddle, the formerly second highest public house in England (now a distillery). This is where the coach will drop us off for the start of our leisurely walk down the valley. Birds found on the moors include birds of prey and golden plover, which need large undisturbed areas. The walk passes two large reservoirs, plantations and open moorland which, in spring and summer, are good for red-breasted merganser, red grouse, wheatear, curlew, lapwing, snipe, dipper, skylark, meadow pipit, whinchat, ring ouzel, redstart, wood warbler and pied flycatcher. Wild animals found on the moor include voles, hares and foxes.
Facilities: There are toilets at the Derbyshire Bridge car park (at the start the of walk) and at Bunsal Cob, east of the Errwood dam (at the end of the walk).

24th September 2023 Cley Marsh, NR25 7SA
Leaves Raunds Square at 8:00am and Thrapston Market Place at 8:10am.
The Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) reserve at Cley Marshes, perched on the north Norfolk coast, has a well-deserved reputation as one of the UK’s premier bird watching sites and there’s always something to see, whatever time of year you visit. The pools and scrapes, all within easy view of the hides, are flush with unusual and interesting birds throughout the year, and both experienced and new birders will find much to enthrall them here. Meandering along the boardwalks and glimpsing the birdlife through the reeds is pure pleasure. https://www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife-in-norfolk/nature-reserves/reserves/cley-and-salthouse-marshes
Facilities: toilets, café and shop.
Admission: adult permit price of £5.00 in addition to normal coach fare for non-members of NWT.