nature

There’s so much to see and hear. Just find a spot, sit, soak in the atmosphere and let the wildlife come to you!

Blessed with acres of unspoilt natural habitat, the River Waveney and its valley are renowned for the excellent variety of flora and fauna.  From tranquil woodland, vibrant river meadows, marshes, fens, and broads the Waveney Valley has a great diversity of landscapes. The 55 miles of river are home to kingfisher, heron, otters and marsh harrier and a great many varieties of dragonfly.

Between Bressingham and South Lopham is the stunning Redgrave and Lopham Fen National Nature Reserve. The largest remaining river valley fen in Europe, and the source of the River Waveney, Redgrave and Lopham Fen is an internationally protected nature reserve.

The reserve has a range of distinct habitats including the internationally important saw sedge beds and purple-moor grasslands. It is also home to one of only two British populations of the fen raft spider. Many more waterfowl are using the open water, and marsh harrier are regulars on the reserve. With tracks and guided walks from the visitor centre, the reserve can be visited throughout the year.

Tucked away down a little lane from the busy town of Diss is the wonderful Roydon Fen.  The trail that weaves through the reserve takes visitors through the fen habitat, glimpsing classic fen species such as marsh helleborine, marsh fragrant orchid and saw sedge.

South of Diss is Wortham Ling Nature Reserve, a large tract of amethyst heathland, ponds and chalky areas, combining to provide a delightful habitat to an array of wildflowers and butterflies.

Just outside of Beccles is North Cove, a quiet, relaxing place with a patchwork of wetland habitats and pools. Characteristic marshland plants like ragged-robin have become established here, along with scarce marsh fern and bog pimpernel. The mature woodland is great for birds like warbler, siskin and redpoll.

At the southern tip of the River Waveney are Carlton Marshes. With 120 acres of grazing marsh, fens and peat pools, it is the Broads in miniature, and a perfect place for a walk. Flower studded marshes drained by a system of dykes and grazed by cattle in summer, creates a paradise for marsh land birds and birds of prey including the hobby and marsh harrier. Water vole may be seen in and around the dykes along with special plants including the rare and protected water soldier.  From the marshes a short trip on the ancient ferry crossing takes you to the Waveney Inn at the Waveney River Centre, the perfect refreshment stop.