Spring arrivals: Swallows, Sand Martins and diggers

Aerial view of Carlton Marshes by John Lord

Swallows, Sand Martins and House Martins have arrived at the reserve, as well as Blackcaps and Sedge Warblers starting to sing. Read on for wildlife news from across the Suffolk Broads, Carlton Marshes habitat creation updates, and to hear about the volunteers that make it all happen!

The birds are flooding in with Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins over the pools and dykes at Carlton Marshes. This week Whitethroats have been singing in bushes across the site and good numbers of Grasshopper Warblers and Sedge Warblers have livened up the reserve with their interesting song. On the scrapes Lapwing, Redshank and Avocet are nesting, with Lapwing chicks due to hatch next week. Also look out for migrants passing through, including Wheatear and Green Sandpiper which have both been seen across the reserve this week. On the newly purchased Share Marsh 4 Lapwing chicks have hatched already! On Peto's Marsh, where pools were dug last year, 4 pairs of Lapwing, 2 pairs of Redshank and 1 pair of Oystercatcher have already made it their home, surrounded by diggers and dumper trucks getting on with the rest of the habitat creation. This is hopefully a sign of the numbers of birds that will be breeding here in the future. 

Habitat Creation work is now in full swing on Peto's Marsh, with work starting to dig one of the larger pools in what will be the reedbed. Across the marsh pools, bunds, dykes and islands have all been marked out with a variety of coloured wooden stakes. The compound which has been created at the entrance of the new land, with car park, toilets, offices and tea huts for workers, looks industrial, but will help to create a haven for wildlife.

Archeology work at the site of the new visitor centre is also ongoing, work which will take a few weeks before the building work begins. This work will investigate medieval posts arranged near an old dyke line. Perhaps a fish trap? Or a pontoon? Hopefully we will find out with some more investigation. 

Free monthly guided walks at Carlton Marshes will give visitors the chance to see how the site changes over the coming months, as well as ask more questions about the work. The next walk is on May 12th at 10am, please book online at www.suffolkwildlifetrust.org


Ellen Shailes at ellen.shailes@suffolkwildlifetrust.org for more information about volunteering across the Suffolk Broads reserves or

Barry Bradnum at waveneyvalleygroup.swt@gmail.com for more information about the Waveney Valley Wildlife Group

Current volunteering roles:

Conservation work party volunteer - Gunton Warren nature reserve

Bird surveyor - Carlton Marshes nature reserve

Learning volunteer - Carlton Marshes nature reserve and across Lowestoft

Pop up café volunteer - Carlton Marshes nature reserve

Heritage Fund

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters and a £4 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, our vision to buy and restore 384 acres of land for wildlife in the Broads National Park is taking flight.