With flower-studded marshes, pools teeming with water life and the shimmer of dragonflies during summer, Carlton & Oulton Marshes is the Suffolk Broads at their best.
A wildlife oasis on the edge of Lowestoft
For sheer excitement and awe, birds of prey are hard to beat and marsh harrier, barn owl and hobby are all at home in the skies above Carlton & Oulton Marshes.
But the underwater world of the dykes is where the real drama is played out, by plants like the insectivorous bladderwort, which traps and digests water fleas in bladder-like sacs under water. Scan the dyke edges too, for a glimpse of Britain’s biggest spider, the fen raft spider which was released here in 2012 to bolster the precariously low UK population.
In early summer there is a fabulous display of southern marsh orchid, marsh marigold and ragged-robin, together with the scarcer bogbean, bog pimpernel and marsh cinquefoill.
The marshes are also ideal for wintering wildfowl and breeding waders with large numbers of wigeon, teal and snipe.
Carlton & Oulton Marshes nature reserve map - click to enlarge and print: