Nature lovers will delight at the abundance of wildlife that populate the town’s beaches, reserves and parks. Get your binoculars and cameras ready, there is plenty to spot.

Hartlepool’s rich and vibrant natural landscape is a real treat for wildlife-lovers. At the very south of the borough you’ll find Teesmouth National Nature Reserve, a truly unique and interesting environment.

Set against a backdrop of heavy industry, it’s a great example of how nature can adapt and thrive in the most unusual places. This coastal reserve is home to an amazing array of flora and fauna. Common (harbour) and grey seals can be found basking beside the tide, as well as migratory ducks and waders that regularly visit the estuary. Of all the plants here, perhaps the most spectacular are four different species of Marsh Orchids which flower in June and July on the damp dune grassland.

Next to Teesmouth you will also find Seaton Common and Dunes. Seaton Common is a vast wet grassland home to a huge number of resident and migratory wading birds. Across the from the golf course you will find Seaton Dunes, one of the largest dune systems between Lindisfarne and the Humber, providing a rich and diverse habitat for many plants and animals including Fox and Short-eared Owl.

Whether you’re a family, a wildlife watcher, adventurer or walker why not venture just beyond town to RSPB Saltholme. With its tranquil wildlife garden, expertly-designed hides and fun adventure playground, there’s something for everyone here. Come and explore this beautiful nature reserve and its variety of wildlife ranging from boisterous common terns and lapwings to pretty orchids and butterflies.

Take your journey further into town and you will discover Summerhill Country Park and Visitor Centre. Both a local nature reserve and an outdoor activity centre, Summerhill is the ideal spot for a family day out. This vast open space is home to a whole host of wildlife and makes for some great exploration.

As you head towards the very North of Hartlepool, just on the edge of The Headland, you will find Spion Kop Cemetry. This historic cemetery offers spectacular views of the Hartlepool coastline, in addition to its fantastic array of unique and unusual plant life.

Just on the outskirts of town is Crimdon Dene. Here you will discover the massive dune system and grassland that encompasses Hart Warren Dunes. This beautiful area is prized for its significant and often rare wildlife, including the burnt tip, pyramidal orchid and a colony of Little Tern. Enjoy a peaceful walk through this rich and varied natural environment while admiring the beautiful views as you look out onto Crimdon Beach.

Hart to Haswell Walkway is a must-do adventure for nature-lovers. The walking route follows a disused railway line beginning at Hart Station and features a mosaic of habitats including woodland, butterfly glades and ponds.