Alde Mudflats Nature Reserve

Oystercatcher - Peter Cairns/2020VISION

Oystercatcher - Peter Cairns/2020VISION

Alde Mudflats Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Grey Plover - David Tipling/2020VISION

Grey Plover - David Tipling/2020VISION

Alde Mudflats Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Marsh harrier  - Andrew Parkinson/2020VISION

Marsh harrier  - Andrew Parkinson/2020VISION

Alde Mudflats Nature Reserve

Please note: No access possible to provide an undisturbed sanctuary for birds; however, there are good views from Iken Cliffs footpath.

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.


Church Lane, Iken, near Snape
IP12 2EN

OS Map Reference

A static map of Alde Mudflats Nature Reserve

Know before you go

128 hectares

Entry fee


Parking information

Excellent views over the reserve from the Iken car park to Iken Church shoreside path

Walking trails

Best views are from the footpath from Iken Cliff car park eastwards towards Iken Church


No access possible to provide an undisturbed sanctuary for birds; however, there are good views from Iken Cliffs footpath. 

No drone flying without express permission.
(Permission will only be granted in exceptional circumstances)

If you'd like to visit this reserve as a group, please contact us in advance.


On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

November to January, April to June

About the reserve

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, wigeon, 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.      

Contact us

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01473 890089

Environmental designation

Natura 2000
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Special Protection Areas (SPA)

Location map