North Cove nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

North cove nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

North cove nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

North cove nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

North Cove nature reserve Suffolk Wildlife Trust

By Steve Aylward

North Cove Nature Reserve

Tucked away a short distance from the endless horizons of the Suffolk Broads nature reserve, North Cove is Broadland in beautiful miniature.

Location

Wade Hall Lane, Barnby, Between Beccles and Lowestoft
Beccles
Suffolk
NR34 7QQ

OS Map Reference

TM471905
A static map of North Cove Nature Reserve

Know before you go

Size
16 hectares

Entry fee

Free

Grazing animals

Cattle graze areas

Walking trails

Soft and wet ground

Access

Not suitable for wheelchairs

Dogs

No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

April to September

About the reserve

Parking on the road, the reserve is a short walk over the railway line and into a quiet world of grazing marsh, wet woodland, pools and dykes that in summer fizz with dragonflies. Watch out for characteristic marsh plants like ragged-robin and yellow rattle (so named because the dried seeds rattle in their pods) along with the nationally scarce marsh fern, which is thriving here.

Bog pimpernel occurs in the meadow and opposite-leaved golden saxifrage can be found near the old decoy pond – a legacy of when this spot was part of a 19th century shooting estate. Ironically, this remnant of a lost wetland landscape, which is owned by the Blower family but managed by the Trust and the Beccles Bird Club, probably owes its continued existence to hunters. It was this interest that likely ensured the survival of the alder-carr woodland that once fringed the entire Waveney valley and prized game species like woodcock.

But as well as woodcock, who can be seen zig-zagging between the trees, the woodland is also now a sanctuary for warbler, siskin, redpoll and all three types of woodpecker. The patient and the lucky may also glimpse sparrowhawks hunting in dense cover - flying on razor-like wings with their brown-barred chests almost touching the ground.

Whether in summer – when you can expect to see an abundance of flowers, basking grass snakes and numerous invertebrates on the wing or in winter when flocks of siskins cloud round alders – it is well worth setting aside an hour or two to take in this secret patchwork of protected wildness.  

Contact us

Suffolk Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01473 890089

Environmental designation

National Park
Natura 2000
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)