Take a walk to Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Hen Reedbeds
Published: Wednesday 2nd Oct 2019
Written by: Sally Owen
With Southwold’s beautiful sandy beach and characterful shops, visitors to the town would be forgiven if they never ventured further than the harbour. However, there’s so much more to discover. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the coast and countryside surrounding Southwold is fabulous for walkers and nature lovers. Take a stroll from The Harbour Inn west along the river wall to Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Hen Reedbeds Reserve - a mosaic of pools, reedbeds and dykes created by Suffolk Wildlife Trust as the perfect habitat for birds such as the bittern, water rail and marsh harrier.
For the best views of the largest mere follow the way-marked trail through the reedbed and across the road to the viewing platform overlooking Wolsey Creek Marshes, a good place to spot birds such as kingfisher, gadwall, tufted duck, shoveler and also little grebes. You may even be lucky enough to spot an elusive otter or water vole. At low tide, scan the mudflats of the Blyth Estuary for feeding waders – redshank, oystercatcher, avocet and sandpiper are all regulars. The channels often hide hunting seals, on the look-out for flat-fish and grey mullet in the estuary.
From November until early February just before sunset, look out for murmurating starlings who gather in their thousands before roosting in the reeds. Moving like shoals of fish, these beautiful birds perform astonishing aerobatics as they seek to avoid avian predators.
Find out more about Hen Reedbeds on Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s website here:
How to get there:
Walk from The Harbour Inn, or from Old Hall Cafe where there is plenty of free parking. If you're travelling by car, there's a small car park situated just off the A1095. Sat nav: IP18 6SH, OS Map Reference TM471771, what3words: paper.flaunting.against