Aberlady Bay Local Nature Reserve

How to get there

By bus

East Coast Buses operate services that passes by the Nature Reserve, you can ask to be dropped off nearby.

By car

A small car park is located just off the A198 to the E of Aberlady village.

Parking charges

Parking charges may apply to coastal car park.

By bicycle

The A198 passes along the S of the Nature Reserve. Within the Reserve, tracks are mostly sandy and not ideal for cycling.



Aberlady Bay Local Nature Reserve was the first site to be designated a Nature Reserve, in 1952. It comprises a complete set of habitats from low water right through to salt marsh and sand dune, unchanged by the influence of people. The area within the Reserve is extensive, and, in consequence, the paths across it take time to cover. Dogs are not welcome on the Reserve due to the potential for disturbing nesting and / or roosting birds.

Natural history

A wide array of wildflowers, reflecting the accompanying coastal habitats, can be found at Aberlady, including many locally rare species. In turn these support a wide variety of insect and invertebrate life.

The birds associated with Aberlady are equally diverse and reflect the changes in the season. In autumn the site can play host to over 30,000 pink-footed geese, who come here from Iceland to roost and feed locally, before moving on later in the winter. Spring and summer sees migrants of another kind - from Europe and North Africa - to take advantage of the abundance of invertebrate life on which to rear their young. Wheatears, whitethroat and blackcaps all nest on site, together with a few species of wading bird, including redshank and lapwing.


Read about wildfowling and apply for a permit online.

Download Aberlady Bay wildfowling permit