The Goldcliff Lagoons were created in the late 1990s and form the eastern end of the Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve.
The site lies just south of Goldcliff village and consists of three shallow saline lagoons, called Monk’s, Prior’s and Bec’s. The lagoons are surrounded by a mosaic of different habitats, including wet grassland, hedgerows, scrub, reedbeds, water-filled ditches and reens, and the mud flats of the Severn Estuary.
In spring, birds use the lagoons and surrounding wet grassland to nest and rear their young, safe behind the lagoons 2.2km anti-predator electric fence. Six species of wader nest here, including avocet, lapwing, little ringed plover, ringed plover, oystercatcher and redshank. This is the only site in south Wales where avocet breed.
During the autumn and winter months, the reserve is a vital pit-stop for migratory ducks and waders, such as teal, wigeon, curlew and lapwing. These birds arrive from Scandinavia and northern Europe in huge numbers to feed on the millions of creatures that live in the mud, sand and saltmarsh.
The site is also important for its invertebrates: over 400 species have been recorded, including nationally rare species such as great silver water beetle and shrill carder bee. Also keep an eye open for water voles feeding and swimming in the reens.
Park on Goldcliff Rd and follow the footpath into the reserve. There are a series of hides and viewing platforms overlooking the three lagoons.
For more information about Goldcliff Lagoons and latest sightings visit the Friends of Goldcliff Lagoons website.