For the nature-lover, West Norfolk’s coastal and countryside nature reserves and bird sanctuaries provide a haven for less common species.
The RSPB reserve at Titchwell has both fresh and salt water lagoons and extensive reed beds, with avocets and other waders among the many species, while Snettisham Coastal Park and nearby RSPB reserve provide an ideal environment for many migratory species. For a closer view of the birds and seals on Scolt Head, boat trips are available from the nearby coastal villages.
Further inland, Welney, on the Ouse Washes, is home to thousands of wildfowl such as swans, wigeon and pochard who descend on the reserve during the winter months. In summer guided walks of this rich fenland area are a must, and in the winter the spectacular movement of thousands of geese to and from their feeding grounds is an awe-inspiring sight. Catch a daily swan feed at WWT Welney Wetland Centre or get up close to the bird life on a canoe safari.
There are four Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserves in West Norfolk – special areas where as well as birds, there’s a chance to see some of England’s rarer species of plants, animals, and insects.
For example, Roydon Common, just a few miles from King’s Lynn, is the finest example of lowland valley bog in Britain. Plants such as sundews and butterwort still thrive and the sharper-eyed visitor might spot a local black darter dragonfly.
Norfolk’s western region skirts the Wash, the UK’s most important estuary for wild birds and a site of international significance. A vital part of the east Atlantic flyway, one of the major bird migration routes in the world, the Wash provides a plentiful wintering over location for more than 300,000 birds. Its sheltered mudflats provide a vast feeding ground for thousands of water birds from as far away as Greenland and Siberia.
Download a guide to Birdwatching in West Norfolk for more information on superb all-year-round birdwatching opportunities.