Norah Hanbury-Kelk Meadows Nature Reserve

Norah hanbury kelk nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Norah hanbury kelk nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Norah hanbury kelk nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

Norah Hanbury-Kelk Meadows Nature Reserve

Lying next to the River Lark this pretty network of flower-rich wet meadows and dykes is a small wildlife oasis for those living in the village of Barton Mills.


Mildenhall Road
Barton Mills
IP28 6BD

OS Map Reference

TL 713740
A static map of Norah Hanbury-Kelk Meadows Nature Reserve

Know before you go

8 hectares

Entry fee


Grazing animals



No public access March-July - view from adjacent footpath.

Restricted access at other times - please contact warden to arrange.

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.


Guide dogs only
Assistance dogs only

When to visit

Opening times

No Access March to July, view from adjacent footpath

Best time to visit

April to July

About the reserve

Mrs Norah Hanbury-Kelk, from who the reserve takes its name, bought the meadows during the 1930s when this part of west Suffolk was still largely rural. As the countryside around it changed with expanding villages and agriculture, this parcel of land remained unchanged. For this reason the meadows, which were gifted to the Trust in the 1980s, are still home to an enviable population of scarce marsh orchids as well as a great variety of other wetland plants such as ragged-robin, lady’s smock, greater bird’s-foot trefoil and both early and southern marsh orchid.

During Mrs Hanbury-Kelk’s ownership of the meadows, it is likely they would have flooded most years when the nearby river was in spate, attracting large flocks of wetland birds. Such inundation is now rare as the river is embanked and separated from the meadows but a system of dams and ditches help keep the water high during the winter and are regularly visited by snipe and rafts of duck.

The reserve can only be accessed by a path that runs from the entrance to the bridge over the river, so it is not really a place for those looking for a long walk. But for those nearby it remains one of those most attractive and interesting places for wildlife in the parish.  

Contact us

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01473 890089

Environmental designation

Local Wildlife Site (LWS)

Location map