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Darsham Marshes

This reserve consists of grassland and wetland, and a network of dykes and two ponds provide a rich habitat for a wealth of waterlife.

A tranquil, lonely place made up of a mosaic of marsh and fen.

Gifted to the Trust in 1984 by the Rodocanachi family, Darsham Marshes is another example of an unspoilt part of Suffolk that was cherished by its former owners who wanted their land safeguarded for future generations.

Carpets of rich pinks and yellows are likely to greet visitors, as the spectacular flowering plants burst into life during spring and early summer. Ragged-robin, yellow flag, marsh marigold and southern marsh orchid are all easy to spot.

A network of dykes and two ponds provide a rich habitat for a wealth of watery wildlife. In summer, long after the toad and frog multitudes have spawned, pause by the ponds to watch the acrobatic antics of dragonflies and damselflies. These nimble aeronauts, which include the scarce hairy dragonfly, are defending their territories.

In winter hen harrier are on patrol and snipe scan for juicy worms along the edges of pools and ditches. Surrounding hedgerows provide berries for flocks of wintering fieldfare and redwing. In May the distinctive song of reed, sedge and grasshopper warbler can be heard among the fen vegetation. Barn owl and marsh harrier hunt over the marsh all year.

Otter, though seldom seen, leave their droppings in gateways and on bridges. Water vole also live here, although the characteristic ‘plop’ as they dive into the water means they have seen you first – they’ll often reappear if you wait quietly!

Darsham Marshes trail map - click to view

Nearby nature reserves

Church Farm
3 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Dunwich Forest
3 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Dingle Marshes
4 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Westleton Road, off the A12 just north of Yoxford (Heading east from A12, turn right in to dirt/grass track immediately after semi-detached red-brick houses. Park on left and walk past metal gate along track to reserve entrance)
Map reference
Great for...
spring flowers
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
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Opening Times
Open at all times
20.00 hectares
County Wildlife Site

Walking information
Difficult access for those with poor mobility. Uneven and very wet ground
Park in small area off Yoxford Road
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Cattle graze areas
Reserve manager
Alan Miller
Tel: 01502 478788


Factsheets and guides for your visit