Getting close to nature
The Norfolk Coast is blessed with a large number of managed reserves, country estates and parks which are open to the public. With such a diverse range of opportunities this selection simply offers a taster - check out the events section for some of the activities on offer during the year.
Blakeney National Nature Reserve
Covering an area from Holkham through to Cley marshes with wide open spaces and uninterrupted views of the natural and dynamic coastline.Internationally famous for its bird life, with Blakeney Point being one of the most important sites in Europe for breeding terns.
To visit Blakeney Point and see the seal colony try one of the Seal Boat Trips out of Morston or Blakeney
Cley Marshes NWT reserve
Norfolk Wildlife Trust's oldest and best known nature reserve was the first Wildlife Trust reserve in the country when it was purchased in 1926. The shingle beach and saline lagoons, along with the grazing marsh and reedbed support large numbers of wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders, as well as bittern, marsh harrier and bearded tit. The view from the visitor centre across the marsh to the sea is breathtaking.
Tel: 01263 740008; www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk/cley
Holkham National Nature Reserve
Holkham is the most extensive, diverse and dramatic nature reserve on a coastline famous for nature reserves, indeed it is England's largest National Nature Reserve. Windswept tidelines, a maze of creeks and saltings, miles of dunes and sandspits, shady pinewoods, green pastures and marshes -the mix of habitats and the blend of wildlife make this a unique place.
Holme National Nature Reserve
One of the North Norfolk coast's most attractive landscapes. There are a range of coastal habitats including sand dunes, freshwater pools, grazing marsh and saltmarsh. Much of the site consists of natural habitiats maintained largely by coastal processes.
Norfolk Ornithologists Association Holme observatory is situated nearby (www.noa.org.uk)
Holt Country Park
On the edge of the historic market town of Holt, the park has been many things over the years, including a horseracing course, heath, farmland and forestry. It has now been developed into a tranquil woodland dominated with Scots Pine and native broadleaves with a rich ground flora supporting an abundance of wildlife.
See also: Access for all
The How Hill Trust offers a unique opportunity for people of all ages to experience and learn about the unique and special environment of the Norfolk Broads through a range of courses and events.
Wildlife Gardening & Wildflower Discovery Centre in the Glaven valley at Bayfield with a mission to to promote wildlife-friendly gardening & British Wildlife run by Simon and Anne Harrop. Wildlife gardens, café and shop, nursery and nature reserve offering a peaceful, inspiring place for everyone to visit.
Blakeney Road between Letheringsett and Glandford, follow the brown signs for 'Wildflower Centre' NR25 7JN
Tel: 01263 711091; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pensthorpe Nature Park
One of the largest remaining areas of unimproved chalk grassland in Norfolk, Ringstead Downs supports a diverse range of species including a number of locally important and locally scarce species making it a valuable area for wildlife.
Located east of Hunstanton, between Ringstead and Sedgeford
Sculthorpe Moor Community Nature Reserve is a peaceful place, with a rich variety of wildlife in its woodland, fen and reedbed habitats. Located in the beautiful Wensum Valley, the reserve is nationally and internationally recognised as important for its wildlife.
Turf Moor Road, Sculthorpe, Fakenham, NR21 9G
Tel: 01328 856788 http://hawkandowl.org/sculthorpe/about-sculthorpe/
Snettisham RSPB reserve
A place to witness two of the UK's great wildlife spectacles. On big tides, as water covers the vast mudflats of The Wash, tens of thousands of wading birds are pushed off their feeding grounds and onto the roost banks and islands in front of the RSPB hides.
Titchwell Marsh RSPB reserve
A popular reserve on the north Norfolk coast with something for everyone. A walk from the visitor centre down to the sandy beach takes you past reedbeds and shallow lagoons, which are often full of birds. You can sit on benches or watch from spacious, wheelchair-accessible hides.