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.
Morning – two-hour trip, departs 10.30am
Afternoon – one-hour trip, departs at 1.30pm and 3pm
Booking essential: 01692 598276
Hickling Wetland Restoration Project: Update
Works are progressing well on the final stages of this important conservation project which will see 47ha of wetland enhanced through sensitive dyke clearance, scrape (shallow pool creation) and installation of new water control structures which will restore natural water levels to this site. These works will see the area returned to a functioning floodplain containing a rich variety of habitats including open water, reedbed, fen and wet woodland providing benefits for both people and wildlife.
For details of what is accessible, please ring NWT on 01603 625540 before your visit. Thank you for your understanding.