The largest of the Broads, NWT Hickling Broad is a year-round haven for wildlife. It is easy to spend a day walking around its trails or, in summer, gently whiling away a couple of hours taking in the Broad’s hidden corners on one of NWT’s electric boat tours.
Hickling is situated on the Upper Thurne river system, which holds a significant percentage of the UK population of common crane as well as important breeding numbers of bittern, marsh harrier bearded tit and Cetti’s warbler. In winter large numbers of marsh harriers roost in the reedbed north east of Stubb Mill; merlin and hen harrier are also regular. Barn owl is almost guaranteed and you may see kingfisher if you are lucky. Interesting mammals include the introduced Chinese water deer, red deer and hard-to-see otters.
Among the many insects are two iconic local specialities – the swallowtail butterfly and the Norfolk hawker dragonfly – though many equally rare, albeit lesser-known, invertebrates also occur. Plants are well-represented, with the important milk parsley: the larval food plant of the swallowtail.
BESL will be working at Hickling for approximately three weeks from 15 September. The work is to top up the level of the flood wall between the Seckers boat jetty and Whiteslea Lodge. Material is being sourced from the site on Bishops marsh and transported to Whiteslea Lodge by tracked dumper to the work site. This will mean there will be no access to the Observation Hut. An alternative (unsurfaced) path will be available so that visitors can still complete a circular walk around the site across the Whiteslea Marshes. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
• until Sunday 28 September
• and from Monday 27 October to Sunday 2 November
Weekends only during October
• from Saturday 4 to Sunday 26 October
Morning – two-hour trip, departs 10.30am
The two hour water trail includes a visit to two hides only accessible by boat and a 60 foot tree tower providing views across Hickling Broad and the landscape beyond
Afternoon – one-hour trip, departs at 1.30pm and 3pm
Sunset Water Trail - runs every Wednesday in May and August, 7-9pm
Evening Water Trail and Supper at The Pleasure Boat Inn - Tuesdays and Thursdays from 29 May until 28 August, 6-8pm
Booking essential for all boat trips: 01692 598276
Download the boat trips itinerary
For details of all events, please see event scroller below or visit our what's on section.