With its diverse coastline of creeks, salt marshes, nature reserves, sandy habitats and the largest protected wetland in Britain, The Norfolk Broads, is a county that will delight and titillate birdwatchers of all ages and experience. Whether a seasoned enthusiast, or just on the look out for some unique wildlife, Norfolk has something to offer all year round.
Norfolk hosts a number of wildlife parks and RSPB reserves, with well-maintained walkways alongside rivers inhabited with a variety of ducks, from the mallard, to the coot and moorhen, and all manner of geese on the banks, including the greylag, Canadian and Egyptian geese. Soaring high up in the skies above, you might spot a marsh harrier, sparrowhawk or even a kestrel before divebombing down to their prey. You may even catch the solitary heron amongst the reeds, wading in shallow waters and picking out small fish and frogs with its distinctively long bill.
Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve – Fakenham
Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve, near Fakenham (NR21 9GN) is a peaceful place, with a rich variety of wildlife in its woodland, fen and reed bed habitats.
Created and managed by the Hawk and Owl Trust, the 18-hectare (45 acre) internationally recognised reserve provides everyone with a real opportunity to get involved with the natural environment with boardwalks giving easy access through the reserve.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust Centre – Cley next the Sea
NWT at Cley Marshes is Norfolk's oldest and best known nature reserve. It was purchased in 1926 to be held 'in perpetuity as a bird breeding sanctuary'. It provided a blue print for nature conservation which has now been replicated across the UK.The water levels in the pools and reedbeds are regulated to ensure they are ideal for the resident birds, and reed is harvested every year to keep the reedbeds in good condition. There is a wonderful visitor centre with cafe, shop, viewing areas and education centre. The view from the visitor centre across the Marsh to the sea is breathtaking.
RSPB Reserves – Titchwell & Snettisham
Titchwell Marsh offers a wide range of family activities, encouraging children to understand birdlife better with guided and self-guided walks amongst the marshes. Dogs are only permitted on the west bank path, which is a public right of way. They must be kept on a lead and under close control. For further information please click here
Snettisham allows you to witness one of the bird world’s fascinating events when thousands of pink footed geese leave the mudflats and land here, filling the skies with incredible patterns. Dogs are welcome under close control. For further information please click here
Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens
At home in the landscaped wildlife gardens is a special collection of rare animals from Asia. Unique features include a swamp house, willow pattern gardens and tree walks over the tigers.
Pensthorpe Natural Park
Set in the beautiful Wensum Valley in the heart of the Norfolk countryside and voted Norfolk’s Best Large Visitor Attraction 2014*, multi award-winning Pensthorpe Natural Park is more than just a showcase for conservation and wildlife. In its 27th year, the former home to BBC Springwatch (2008 – 2010) continues to captivate its visitors with its unique surroundings and thousands of bird, plant and wildlife species who call it home.