General information

Quoile Pondage Nature Reserve and Countryside Centre
Quoile Pondage Nature Reserve
Quoile Pondage Nature Reserve and Countryside Centre

There are plenty of excellent opportunities for bird watching for visitors both from the riverside path and at the bird hide overlooking the brackish pondage, which was created from the formerly known marine estuary in 1957. This was created by the building of a tidal barrage to provide a place for floodwaters to gather until the tide turned and subsequently colonised naturally with grassland, scrub and trees.

In summer, the riverside is covered in an array of different colours such as from colourful wild roses, willowherb, purple loosestrife and yellowcress. An abundance of wildfowl also breed here, which include mute swans, mallard, tufted duck and the rarely-seen Gadwall. Wading birds on migration such as black-tailed godwit drop in during spring and autumn and in winter large numbers of wildfowl are abundant. These comprise of whooper swans, greylag geese and at least 17 species of duck including wigeon, goldeneye, shoveler, teal, pochard, scaup and shelduck plus occasional rarities such as smew and garganey.

Visitors can find out more about the Quoile Pondage, its history and its wildlife in the attractive stone cottage visitor centre with a nature garden adjacent to this.

Quoile Countryside Centre is located on the outskirts of Downpatrick, around 22 miles south east of Belfast City centre and is sign posted from the main A7 Belfast to Downpatrick road.

We hope you have an enjoyable positive experience at the Quoile Pondage. You may like to visit our other properties which include Scrabo Country Park, Newtownards and Cloghy Rocks Nature Reserve south of Strangford Village.

If you would like to provide us with your comments, feedback or ideas for improvement please contact us at:

Opening times

Open to pedestrians 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Car parking at Quoile Pondage is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with 3 car parks, one located at the Quoile Countryside Centre on Quay Road, and two others, also on Quay Road.

As part of the easing of ongoing Corona Virus, Co-Vid 19 restrictions Car parks in DAERA-owned Country Parks are now open to the public.

Toilet facilities are open Monday to Friday 08:00 to 16:00, however visitors are asked to please note that some facilities may be reduced to allow for social distancing and that local measures to ensure public and staff safety should be followed as necessary. In the interests of ongoing public safety, other facilities will remain closed until further notice at this time, this includes the Quoile Visitor Centre. Please be aware of the ongoing restrictions and plan visits accordingly.

Please note that car parks may be temporarily closed at times to support social distancing if sites become particularly busy or crowded.

Make sure that you follow Public Health Agency guidelines and maintain social distancing at all times.

Price list



  • Free (parking charges may apply)
  • Parking Available
  • Picnic Area
  • Toilets

View all



  • Free (parking charges may apply)
  • Parking Available
  • Picnic Area
  • Toilets
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Contact Information

Attraction / Heritage/History

Quoile Pondage Nature Reserve and Countryside Centre

Quoile Countryside Centre 5 Quay Road
County Down
BT30 7JB
Phone number
T: (028) 4461 5520
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