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Hen Reedbeds

Hen Reedbeds is a blend of reedbeds, fens, dykes and pools created in 1999 to provide new breeding habitat for bittern and other wildlife.

A rich mosaic of wonderful wetland habitat and a real treat for anyone interested in birds

Hen Reedbeds is a blend of reedbeds, fens, dykes and pools created in 1999 to provide new breeding habitat for bittern and other wildlife. In summer look out for bittern, marsh harrier, heron, bearded tit, norfolk hawker and even hobby hunting over the reeds and dykes. Reed and sedge warblers sing to their hearts’ content alongside clouds of iridescent damselfly and nimble dragonfly such as the four-spot chaser and hairy dragonfly. Far more secretive are the otter and water vole which also live here.

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 wildfowl such as gadwall, tufted duck, shoveler and also little grebes. At low tide scan the mudflats behind you for feeding waders – redshank, avocet and sandpiper are all regulars. Further along Wolsey Creek are two hides overlooking smaller scrapes and islands which often give views of godwits, oystercatchers, teal, little egrets and kingfishers.

Hen Reedbeds trail map - click to view


Created with support from The Heritage Lottery Fund.


Species and habitats

Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Bearded Tit, Otter, Starling

Nearby nature reserves

Reydon Wood
1 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Church Farm Marshes
4 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Dunwich Forest
4 miles - Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

A1095 Halesworth Road
IP18 6SH
Map reference

GPS Info
Heading east towards Southwold along A1095 (Halesworth road) after sharp left hand bend take next left turn to Wangford (brown sign post to reserve) and then left in to carpark.

Great for...
Best time to visit
Mar - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
55.00 hectares

Access for wheel chairs and visitors with poor mobility to the Bittern platform close to the car park. All other viewing platforms and hides accessed by crossing road which has steps from bridge and onto river wall. Paths can be uneven in places.
Walking information
Wheelchairs can be pushed over the 75m grass path to a viewing area with seating
Car park signposted from the A1095
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Ponies graze areas
Reserve manager
Alan Miller
Tel: 01502 478788


Factsheets and guides for your visit

Marsh Harrier special edition T shirt

A new way to support the campaign for a giant new nature reserve in the Broads. £19. Shop now

Vine House Farm


Vine House Farm sells wildlife-friendly products for attracting wildlife into your garden and gives 5% of all its takings to The Wildlife Trusts.