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Alde Mudflats

Extending for almost three shimmering miles at low water, Alde Mudflats is a vast expanse of inter-tidal mud fringed by a rich band of salt marsh.

The reserve itself, leased from the Crown estate to secure a vital refuge for birds as our estuaries become increasingly busy, cannot be directly accessed. But viewed with binoculars from the footpath that winds from Iken Cliff car park to Iken Church, it is well worth a visit.

Jutting out into the Alde estuary, the seemingly endless plains of mud support nationally important numbers of avocet, which can be seen strutting and probing the gloopy ooze for succulent invertebrates.
The protected nature of this 316 acre site also mean large numbers of curlew, black-tailed godwit, oystercatcher, grey plover, widgeon, pintail, teal and dunlin – whose shrill calls shiver across the waterscape – also use the reserve in winter.

During breeding season redshank, oystercatcher and marsh harrier, a species particularly vulnerable to disturbance, raise their young here.

It is well worth combining a visit to this reserve with Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Hazelwood Marshes and Snape Marshes, which help form an important network of nature reserves on the broad trunk of the river estuary.
But then, although the walk at Alde Mudflats may be short, the ever-changing views go on forever.



Nearby nature reserves

Snape Marshes
1 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Blaxhall Common
2 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Captain's Wood
2 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Church Lane, Iken, near Snape
IP12 2EN
Map reference

GPS Info
Heading east along Tunstall road turn left at brown picnic sign. Reserve can be viewed from public footpath.

Great for...
overwintering birds
Best time to visit
Nov - Jan
Apr - Jun
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Opening Times
Open at all times
128.00 hectares
Natura 2000
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

No access possible to provide an undisturbed sanctuary for birds; however, there are good views from Iken Cliffs footpath.
Walking information
Best views are from the footpath from Iken Cliff car park eastwards towards Iken Church
Park in Iken Cliff picnic site
Dogs must be on lead
Reserve manager
Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Tel: 01473 890089