Places to visit – Carlton Marshes nature reserve

Waveney valley cattleBy purchasing one of our luxury lodges, not only will you be able to enjoy a peaceful getaway in our tranquil surroundings whenever you wish but you will also have access to many fantastic activities and stunning natural sites that are just a short distance away. One of the most beautiful of these natural sites that is close to Waveney River Centre is Carlton Marshes nature reserve. This stunning120-acre reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), meaning that it is a protected area of conservation, so you can be pretty sure that it’s a great place to visit if you love nature.

Enjoy exploring the different habitats that include reed beds, alder woodland, grazing marsh, wet grassland and beautiful meadows that are usually covered in beautiful flowers throughout the seasons. There are also numerous peat pools and dykes, which help to keep the greenery green and maintains an environment that’s perfect for all sorts of wonderful animals from freshwater snails and voles, to larger animals such as birds and even cattle! The cattle are very useful when it comes to maintaining the meadows, as their grazing keeps the grass short. However, due to the size of the reserve, the cattle’s grazing isn’t enough, so the staff at the reserve help to maintain it by mowing, trimming and pruning where necessary. This maintenance is carried out carefully and only when needed, so the animal’s natural environment is left as undisturbed as possible.

The area is fantastic for bird watchers, as the reserve attracts numerous species of birds and with the undergrowth teaming with small woodland animals such as Voles; it’s understandable that many of these birds are some of the Norfolk & Suffolk Broads most observed birds of prey. These include the Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and Hobby. You will also find smaller birds including the Cetti’s Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Bearded Tit. There are plenty of impressive insects too, the most impressive of which is the rare Norfolk Hawker Dragonfly!

From Waveney River centre, you will be able to reach the reserve on foot by crossing the River Waveney using the Ferry Service. From here you will find yourself on the Angles Way Walk that leads from Great Yarmouth to Thetford. Take the path leading to the left and after approximately one mile, you will reach the reserve. It’s a great place to visit if you would rather not have to use the car, although it is accessible by road.

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