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Alney Island Nature Reserve

Alney Island is an 80 hectare site, located on the banks of the River Severn and less than a kilometre from the city centre.

  • Wet grassland and other water-related habitat and wildlife
  • Way-marked and surfaced footpaths
  • Sustrans cycle routes 45 and 42 pass through the site, with link to Sustrans Route 41 (Gloucester Docks to Sharpness)
  • Friends of Alney Island
  • Links to long distance footpaths
  • There is car parking off the A417 (just over Westgate Bridge going out of the city) and Castlemeads (Sat, Sun and BHs only)
  • Some of the best views of the Severn Bore
  • Bus routes 23 and 31 run past the site on Westgate St/Royal Oak Road (A417)

For centuries this area was the lowest river crossing point to Wales and the site is steeped in history and heritage, including bridges designed and built by two of the most famous Victorian engineers - Brunel and Telford. The area is also known for the Severn Bore and at Alney it reaches its peak; bringing visitors from around the globe to view this spectacular natural phenomenon. No less than four long distance footpaths also pass through the riverside meadows - the Severn Way, Gloucestershire Way, Glevum Way and Wysis Way.

The nature reserve is predominantly neutral wet grassland and flood meadows with broadleaf trees. The land is managed through hay cutting and grazing with rare breed cattle.  Wildlife includes orchids, waterfowl, raptors, amphibians, wading birds and many species of insect, including dragonflies and butterflies.  The Friends of Alney Island help to mange the reserve and carry out regular work parties.​

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