The power station is now owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (previously it was owned by Magnox) and is in the process of being de-commissioned.
The site consists of a variety of habitats, and this is its attraction.
It is on the banks of the River Severn, with its enormous mudflats. Three old lagoons
are in various states of disuse. These lagoons were large settling tanks,
used during the dredging process for the tidal reservoir. The fine
The power station entrance.
General access is via public footpaths, which surround the power station.
The main route is the
Historically, access to the lagoons was gained by writing requesting this. And when visiting, permission to visit the lagoons, Nature trail and hide was requested at the Gate House. However, since the site has started to be de-commissioned (in 2012), public access seems to be allowed to the Lagoons without prior permission.
Lagoon 1 - This is the oldest settling tank (created in 1975), and is now
little more than a cow field, which floods in winter. However, the floods do
attract ducks, waders and gulls at high tide. They consist mainly of Lapwing, Curlew and Dunlin.
The numbers of Teal, Wigeon, Mallard and Shelduck depend on
the level of water in the lagoon. Also Herons and Little Egret roost. The birds are very susceptible to disturbance when it contains some water (in winter).
It can be viewed very well from viewing points - see Map of OPS. For instance, with caution it is
possible to view the lagoon from next to the outflow pipe platform near the
Lagoon 2 - This is also a disused settling tank (created in 1983). It is home to a scrubby habitat, with small woods developing, but still a small reedbed at its southern end. Reed Warblers, Reed Bunting and Whitethroat breed. Water Rail are present in winter when water remains in the reeds. Stonechat over-winter. Whinchat can be seen on passage. Also, the surrounding hedges are attractive to passage warblers. Grasshopper Warblers have been present some years in the low scrub on the lagoon. Kestrels have bred, and hunt the grasslands. A wildlife pond just to the west of the lagoon is good for dragonflies. Migrant Clouded-Yellow butterflies can be seen around the lagoon or along the shore in autumn.
Lagoon 2 from southern end (Jan 2004).
Lagoon 3 - This is the settling tank which ceased to be used in 2016 (having been created in 1994). The hide situated on the southern bank (accessed by following signs from the road at the entrance to the site) is now pretty much redundant. The main High Tide roost of waders and gulls used to be here, but there is now too much vegetation. Linnets, Chaffinch, Stock Dove and Reed Bunting flock here in winter. The main reedbeds are at the SW and NE ends, but reeds cover most of the Lagoon. Scrub is now starting to develop, especially in the south corner. The pylons around the site and blue reactor towers are always worth checking - for Peregrines, other raptors and Ravens.
Lagoon 3 from hide (Feb 2004).
The lake behind the hide usually has Tufted Duck (with accompanying Ring-Necked Duck in 2003), Mallard, Moorhen and Coot; Canada Geese usually nest on the island and Mute Swan sometimes do.
Nature Trail - The orchard, next to the car park, holds Fieldfares and Redwings in winter. The meadows are favoured by Green Woodpeckers, which breed on-site. There are usually Bullfinches and tit flocks in the hedges, and increasingly Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Treecreepers as the woodlands mature around the site.
Last revised: 25 August 2020.