Darsham Marshes Nature Reserve

Darsham Marshes nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward.

Hen harrier  - Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Hen harrier  - Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Darsham Marshes nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward.

Darsham Marshes nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Reed warbler - Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Reed warbler - Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Darsham Marshes nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Water vole - Terry Whittaker

Darsham Marshes Nature Reserve

Nestled within the Minsmere River Valley, Darsham Marshes is a classic representative marshland site that has been traditionally managed for many years in order to achieve its diverse mix of flora and fauna.


Westleton Road (off the A12 just north of Yoxford)
IP17 3BS

OS Map Reference

A static map of Darsham Marshes Nature Reserve

Know before you go

21 hectares

Entry fee


Grazing animals

Cattle graze areas.

Walking trails

Difficult access for those with poor mobility. Uneven and very wet ground.

Trail map


Not suitable for wheelchairs.

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

April to July

About the reserve

Darsham Marshes along with Darsham Common combined boast a varied mosaic of habitats with grazing marsh, fen meadow, woodland, scrub, hedgerow, grassland, heathland, freshwater dykes and ponds. The herb rich marshes are summer grazed with cattle that help to create an ideal sward structure for marshland birds and serve as an important wintering site for snipe. The grazing regime also helps to influence the botanical interests of the site with well over 150 species of flora recorded including the southern marsh orchid, marsh marigold, ragged-robin, flag iris and marsh arrowgrass.

With its ponds and intricate network of criss-crossing freshwater dykes a good number of dragonfly species can be found such as the Norfolk hawker, four-spotted chaser and the willow emerald damselfly. A healthy population of water vole are also present here along with otters that venture across the marshes from the nearby river.

Darsham Common with its thickets of gorse, dense hedgerows and scattered scrub is a common breeding site for linnet, blackcap, song thrush, chiffchaff and occasionally nightingale. Come the colder months and these fruiting hedgerows attract numerous wintering redwings and fieldfares.

Barn owls and marsh harriers are frequent visitors to the site and can often be seen hunting for small mammals and birds across the marshes.  Other notable inhabitants include the grasshopper warbler, reed bunting, badger, grass snake, common frog, toad and lizard.

Contact us

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01473 890089

Environmental designation

County Wildlife Site

Explore Darsham Marshes from the air