The reserve is situated in the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site on the outskirts of Belper and runs along the bank of the River Derwent. It is one of the Trust’s most important wetland sites and is home to many species of bird from waders such as curlew and common sandpiper passing through in spring, to birds which breed here such as lapwing. Large numbers of gulls visit the reserve during winter - they are mainly black headed gulls, but you may also see common, herring, lesser and greater black backed gulls. They are joined by wildfowl escaping the icy north. In really cold conditions, numbers of duck species such as wigeon and teal visit - they both have characteristics whistles, not quacks, best heard at sun rise and sun set, and easily heard from the track running parallel to the reserve (Wyver Lane).