Norfolk Wildlife Trust is the county’s leading conservation charity, protecting wildlife on more than 50 nature reserves and protected sites. Five of its nature reserves have visitor centres:
Norfolk Wildlife Trust
Perched on the north Norfolk coast, Cley Marshes has a well-deserved reputation as one of the UK’s best birdwatching sites. The pools and scrapes, easily accessed via a boardwalk and hides, attract water birds in their thousands throughout the year. The award-winning visitor centre has a shop and café that enjoys one of the best views in Norfolk. The new Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund has a packed programme of exciting events, walks, exhibitions and taster activities.
A spectacular variety of plants and animals is on offer at Hickling, the largest Norfolk Broad. There are gentle walks under wide skies for the casual visitor or chances for wildlife lovers to see rare species including swallowtail butterflies, bitterns, cranes and marsh harriers. The Water Trail takes you by boat through the quiet backwaters to the Tree Tower, with its breathtaking views of the Broad.
Ranworth is a great place to experience the wildlife of the Broads. A boardwalk trail leads through woodland and reedbed to the floating visitor centre, with all new interactive activities. Watch the antics of the wildfowl on the water, spot the sunken wherries around the Broad’s edge, and if you’re lucky maybe even an otter! Guided wildlife boat trips are available from early spring throughout the summer. There is a ferry service from the Staithe to the Broads Wildlife Centre.
With their haunting calls and almost prehistoric looks, it’s no surprise that stone curlews are Weeting Heath’s most popular attraction – though the rabbits that help to keep the turf short for these rare birds are also highly entertaining. Other birds to look out for on this wonderful Breckland heath include woodlark and green woodpecker. Three hides provide fantastic views across the heath and woodland area. Trails also lead off into the nearby forest.
One of the North Norfolk coast’s most attractive landscapes with its mixture of sand dunes and marshes. Its location on the corner of The Wash makes it a prime site for migrating birds. Over 320 different bird species have been seen at this beautiful National Nature Reserve. The dunes and wildlife are very susceptible to erosion and disturbance, so please follow all on-site access instructions. During busy periods in the summer, visitor numbers may be restricted. New cafe now open!