Alney Island Local Nature Reserve

Alney Island, less than a kilometre from the city centre, is a 80 hectare wetland nature reserve located on the banks of the River Severn. Managed by grazing, it is an important habitat for wetland flora and fauna. The flood meadows of Alney Island are managed for public recreation and nature conservation.

For centuries the 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 Island is also a great place to view the Severn Bore at certain times of the year, either from Over Bridge or the Lower Parting (where the two arms of the river join).

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.


  • Several long distance footpaths pass through the riverside meadows - the Severn Way, Gloucestershire Way, Glevum Way and Wysis Way.
  • The site features way-marked and surfaced footpaths Map of Alney Island (PDF, 1.9 MB)
  • Sustrans cycle routes 45 and 42  pass through the site, with link to Sustrans Route 41 (Gloucester Docks to Sharpness) National Cycle Network
  • Bus routes 23 and 31 run past the site on Westgate St/Royal Oak Road (A417)
  • The car park for the Nature Reserve is on the westbound side of the Westgate Bridge (what3words /// (grid ref. SO823190).

Please be aware that Alney Island is prone to flooding on high tides and following periods of heavy rain.

Dogs are welcome, but motorised vehicles of any sort (including drones) are not permitted.​

Who looks after Alney Island?

Alney Island is managed as a wetland nature reserve to conserve and enhance this important habitat and its wildlife. The management and maintenance of the Nature Reserve is the responsibility of Gloucester City Council's Countryside Unit, helped by the Friends of Alney Island. A series of walks and events are held by the Countryside Rangers throughout the year.

Friends of Alney Island

The Friends of Alney Island hold work events on the 4th Thursday of each month to assist with the management of the site. Additional work sessions onsite can be found on the Community Events page.

How to find us

Countryside Unit​ - Robinswood Hill Country Park
Reservoir Road
Tel: 01452 303 206