Saltholme RSPB reserve is a little gem in Teesmouth between Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough. The reserve is a wetland habitat with a modern visitors centre and café and plenty of hides. With big skies and varied wildlife at any time of year, Saltholme is a great place to visit.
We were here in the winter and received a friendly greeting from a fellow Mancunian before we explored the reserve paths, enjoying the views of Middlesbrough’s splendid Transporter Bridge across the reserve as well as spotting lots of ducks, geese and swans. We were too late in the year to see the murmuration of starlings as the sun set but there was still plenty for us to enjoy and we finished up with a brew in the splendid café. Finding wildlife thriving in the heart of industrial Teeside is a special treat and I was impressed by wildlife haven the RSPB have created.
Saltholme receives loyal support from a group of volunteers and Robert Douglas Crawford’s obituary on page 21 of the Teesmouth Bird Club newsletter from August 2011 is a moving tribute by a fellow volunteer warden at Saltholme, Dave Nelson. The obituary describes a man who had a good eye for spotting birds, gave his time and expertise to the RSPB and who was well loved by his family and friends. The obituary gives a rounded picture of Robert Douglas Crawford that shows the different interests in his life. When Robert Douglas Crawford died his family and friends gave generously to a collection for the RSPB reserve at Saltholme, raising £573 so that the work there can carry on.