Hen Reedbeds Nature Reserve
Know before you go
Grazing animalsPonies graze areas
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.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch to July
About the reserve
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. Created with support from The Heritage Lottery Fund.