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.
Winter closure of paths
• until Sunday 28 September
• and from Thursday 23 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
Booking essential for all boat trips: 01692 598276
Download the boat trips itinerary
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